NATO remains committed to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina on its Euro-Atlantic path. Every country has the right to choose its own security arrangements, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who is visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Today, the head of NATO held a meeting with the chairperson of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Borjana Krišto.
“We discussed the security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. Allies strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of your country. We are concerned about secessionist rhetoric and external influences, especially Russia. This threatens to undermine stability and weaken reforms. All leaders must work for unity and progress. It is extremely important to us and we are committed to the situation in this region. NATO has been committed to stability in your country for years,” Stoltenberg said at the press conference after the meeting with Kristo.
He also said that NATO and its allies remain committed to the EUFOR peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
– Althea mission support –
“Therefore, we are deepening our cooperation and our political dialogue and practical cooperation. The NATO headquarters in Sarajevo provides support to the European Union Althea mission. NATO and allies remain committed to the success of that mission and we welcome the decision of the UN Security Council to extend the mission,” he added.
Stoltenberg emphasized that the NATO alliance strongly supports the reform efforts of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“It will strengthen your capabilities in response to natural and other disasters and cyber defense. NATO remains committed to supporting BiH on its Euro-Atlantic path. Every country has the right to choose its own security arrangements without outside interference. I especially want to commend Bosnia and Herzegovina on its successes which it achieved on the way to the European Union,” said Stoltenberg.
After the meeting, Kristo pointed out that she discussed issues of mutual interest with the Secretary General of NATO, which are related to stability and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region.
“Cooperation with NATO gives us the opportunity to improve security and strengthen defense capacities, through participation in peacekeeping missions where we improve the capabilities of our armed forces. It is precisely these elements that allow us to respond to the challenges of threats such as terrorism and organized crime,” said Kristo.
He points out that cooperation with NATO directly affects the modernization of institutions and processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the implementation of social reforms. She emphasized that there is a decision to integrate Bosnia and Herzegovina into NATO, which would give our country the opportunity to integrate into European structures, which is crucial for its stability and prosperity.
Kristo thanked Stoltenberg for the aid package to the institutions and authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to strengthen BiH. defense capacities, worth between 48 and 53 million euros.
“It refers to nine projects from the defense sector and three projects from the security sector. The projects can be implemented in the next five years. We will continue to work on improving cooperation with NATO, which implies work on the development of a reform program, which is one of the first tasks since the Commission for Cooperation with NATO was established,” said Kristo.
As she said, BiH will thus harmonize its obligations with the obligations of NATO members.
She said that BiH will actively work on establishing a consensus when it comes to cooperation with NATO, which coincides with ensuring peace, stability and security in BiH and the region, AA reports.