Peace envoy urges Bosnia to harness new EU momentum

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) A recent EU agreement that cleared the way for Bosnia's accession to the block is a key opportunity to drag the troubled nation out of stagnation, Bosnia's top peace envoy said Tuesday.

"We need to see the newly elected authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and the country in general - coming together to deliver the steps that are required to take advantage of the new EU initiative," Valentin Inzko told a UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the country.

EU foreign ministers and Bosnia signed an economic and trade pact March 16 that has been on hold since 2008, paving the way for Bosnia's accession to the union if it implements key political and economic reforms.

"Specifically we need to see concrete results that will create new jobs, improve the functioning and functionality of institutions and entrench the rule of law, especially when it comes to the fight against crime and corruption," Inzko said.

The Austrian diplomat has served as High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2009.

His office is tasked with supervising the implementation of the 1995's Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia and outlined a peace framework.

In November, the country will mark the 20th anniversary of the agreement that formed Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single state made up of two parts € the Bosniak-Croat federation and the Republika Srpska, with Sarajevo remaining as the undivided capital city.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina has come a long way since then, but it is also true that what happens during the next six months will play a hugely significant role in determining how the 20th anniversary of Dayton will be viewed by the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina," Inzko said.

"This is the time for the country's politicians to decisively look to the future in the interests of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially the young," he added.

Bosnia, which has not yet formally applied for EU membership, has been identified by the 28-member bloc since 2003 as a potential candidate.

The Journal Of Turkish Weekly

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