Secretary General, EU High Representative Ashton discuss Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU-NATO cooperation
On 25 May, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, met with Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. They met both bilaterally and at a meeting of the North Atlantic Council and the EU Political and Security Committee.
The main topic of discussion was Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the EU leads Operation Althea supported by NATO assets and capabilities. “All the countries around the table today shared the view that BiH’s future lies in Euro-Atlantic structures,” said the Secretary General in speaking to the press after their meetings. “But I must also say that there was real concern today about the level of ethnic tension and rhetoric in BiH.”
He expressed his hope that BiH would soon transfer defence property from the Entity level to the national government, a condition for the Membership Action Plan (MAP) to come into force. NATO extended the MAP to BiH at its Foreign Ministers meeting in Tallinn in April.
On EU-NATO cooperation, the Secretary General said High Representative Ashton and he share the view that the two organizations “need to talk more together, and do more together, from planning to procurement to operations.” Cooperation such as in Afghanistan, in Kosovo, in BiH and off the coast of Somalia “needs to be stepped up,” he said, “and we are working on how best to do that.”