FMs of Italy, Austria ‘impressed’ with results Bosnia made on its EU path

NEWS 04.03.202412:45 0 komentara
F.Z. / N1

Foreign Affairs Ministers of Italy and Austria, Antonio Tajani and Alexander Schallenberg, assessed the progress that Bosnia and Herzegovina has recently made on its European Union path was “impressive” and emphasised absolute support to the country and its authorities towards the final goal.

Two ministers, who arrived in Sarajevo on Monday for an official visit, first met with their Bosnian counterpart, Elmedin Konakovic.

Following the meeting, Tajani said in a joint press conference that Italy has always been there to provide the support.

“BiH is a part of Europe and should be a full member state of the EU in the coming years. I am ready to do my best and support you towards that goal,” he told the media.

As for the possibility of opening of the accession talks between BiH and the EU, he said he was convinced the EU officials will greenlight that decision.

“The situation is better today than ever in the history of your country and that is important to us, and your engagement will pave the way for the opening of the talks as well as their finalisation and becoming an EU member state,” he stressed.

Austrian, Italian FMs in Sarajevo to reaffirm support to Bosnia's EU path

Tajani also pointed out the economic support of his country.

“We want to increase the number of Italian companies here. It is good for us, and it is good for the friends in BiH, because that would increase the number of jobs,” he said.

Schallenberg also addressed the media and shared Tajani's enthusiasm regarding Bosnia's EU path.

“BiH made an impressive progress over the past months. The anti-money laundering law, opening of talks on Frontex. You have achieved a lot more in the past few months than over the past years,” he said, adding that the politicians must understand this is a crucial moment for this country.

Asked about the secessionist threats coming from Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, the ministers said they are aware of the issues in Republika Srpska, Bosnia's Serb-dominated part, but that they want to work on achieving good results on the territory of entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“It takes time, but I am optimistic more than before because we are working hard. Italy is not alone here, I am here today with my friend, the Austrian colleague, because we would like to send a clear message that we are united in our support to BiH in achieving good results,” he said.

Tajani reiterated the importance of the Western Balkan region for Italy, Austria and Europe as a whole. “That's why we must work together, to help this country,” he added.

Responding to the same question, Schallenberg said that everyone in the EU must ask themselves where did they go wrong.

“The Western Balkans is not a front yard but the centre of the EU. How did we let some third parties – Moscow, Beijing – to make influence in the region which is 100 percent European?,” he asked.

Then he answered directly to the question about the secessionist threats.

“We entirely condemn the secessionist rhetoric that we hear from Republika Srpska. The EU accession process is for the state of BiH, not its entities or its parts. We as the EU understand that. As of February 24, 2022, we understand that our neighbourhood policy is the most important geostrategic tool we have when it comes to both the Western Balkans and urkaine and Moldova. It will be either us – EU or someone else there,” underlined Schallenberg.

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