Foreign Ministry official says Croatia will help BiH on NATO, EU journey

NEWS 20.05.202417:18 0 komentara

Croatian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Andreja Metelko-Zgombi, and Bosnia and Herzegovina Foreign Minister Josip Brkic said in Sarajevo on Monday the two states had good bilateral relations and announced the continuation of Croatia's support for BiH's Euro-Atlantic integration.

A Croatian delegation led by Metelko-Zgombic is visiting BiH until Wednesday in light of Croatia's participation in the Defence and Related Security Capacity Building (DCB), a NATO initiative aimed at assisting BiH on the defence plane.

Following Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine in 2022 and the changed security environment in Europe, NATO has increased support to its partners, including BiH. In February 2023, NATO defence ministers confirmed a new package for BiH which aims to strengthen the country's defence and security capabilities, including areas such as crisis management, cyber defence, air medical evacuation, and counterterrorism.

Last December, the Croatian government contributed half a million euros to BiH through DCB for the procurement of communication equipment for the infantry combat group within BiH's armed forces.

Until Wednesday, Croatian Defence Ministry experts will discuss models of assistance in the modernisation of tactical communication equipment, which has a high level of usability in civilian systems also, with colleagues from the BiH Defence Ministry and Armed Forces. All is planned to be carried out by fully complying with NATO standards.

Metelko-Zgombic told the press in Sarajevo that NATO recognized BiH as a partner worth investing in and that Croatia was now proving concrete readiness to participate in that effort.

She said BiH's European journey was also discussed today, which is particularly important following the decision of the European Council in March to allow the opening of accession negotiations with BiH.

“The next step is to align the negotiating framework and the first intergovernmental conference which will physically open the negotiations,” she said, adding that consensus and goodwill of all participants are necessary for that. She announced that Croatia intends to help BiH in creating a negotiating structure.

She said Ukraine and Moldova were already taking steps in screening their domestic legislation, which BiH also needs to do, and underlined that in BiH's case, it meant an electoral reform to ensure the equality of the constituent peoples.

That this will be one of the priorities of the new Croatian government, Metelko-Zgombic said, adding that all parties making up the ruling coalition have clearly shown they want that to be incorporated into legal mechanisms. “And we will take that into account.”

The EU's door is open and what is good is that the EU, besides demanding reforms, also provides economic resources as BiH can now receive €1 billion in grants and favourable loans through the Growth Plan for the Western Balkans.

The upcoming EU elections are not slowing down BiH's European path, so the “key” to the European path is now only in the hands of BiH politicians, who must adopt a series of reform laws, and everything indicates that when that happens, negotiations with the EU will start by the end of this year, she said.

Brkic thanked Croatia for its support in strengthening the BiH Armed Forces and said that BiH relied on Croatia's support in the EU accession negotiations.

“We hope for the continuation of the existing dynamic of partnership and good neighbourly relations,” he said, adding that he is confident that, despite current delays, BiH can formally open accession negotiations with the EU in the second half of this year.

Kakvo je tvoje mišljenje o ovome?

Budi prvi koji će ostaviti komentar!