(MENAFN - The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) The Republika Srpska interior ministry will sign a new cooperation agreement with the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) on Wednesday afterstrong international criticism of the Serb authorities’ decision last week to cut ties and ban the state-level police body from the entity.
“We hope that after signing the agreement on Wednesday which should better define all the procedures cooperation between the government of RS and SIPA will again be operational” Republika Srpska’s Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic told a press conference in Banja Luka on Monday. The information was confirmed to BIRN by a spokesperson for SIPA. But the agency declined to disclose further information about the content of the agreement and any changes that will be introduced in the cooperation between the entity and the police agency which has mandate to deal with terrorism and organised crime. Republika Srpska cut ties with SIPA the state-level court and prosecution on Thursday last week after SIPA agents raided public offices in the entity in search of evidence of war crimes committed during the 1990s. The Republika Srpska government called the police operation "a serious violation". It was not immediately clear whether the agreement with SIPA would completely reverse this suspension of cooperation. Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic told local media on Monday that the suspension was over but the Republika Srpska interior ministry denied this. “The suspension of the cooperation with state police court and prosecution is still valid until the government of Republika Srpska decides differently” ministry spokesperson Milan Salamandija told BIRN. The row came at a point when relations between Republika Srpska and the state-level government were very tense. Last week the government of Republika Srpskademanded the reform of the state constitutional court which had ruled that the entity’s annual holiday was discriminatory and unconstitutional. In September the Republika Srpska parliament also approved a law to hold a referendumquestioning the authority of the state prosecution and Bosnia’s international overseer the High Representative.