Joint press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg with the Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Borjana Krišto

  • 20 Nov. 2023 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 20 Nov. 2023 11:42

(As delivered)

Madam Chairwoman Krišto, dear Borjana,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome. 
It’s great to see you again and to be here in Sarajevo.

Today, we discussed the security situation in your country, and the wider region. 

Allies strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  So we are concerned by secessionist and divisive rhetoric, as well as malign foreign interference – including from Russia. 

This threatens to undermine stability, and hampers reforms. All political leaders must work to preserve unity. Build national institutions. And achieve reconciliation.

This is crucial for the stability and the security of the country.

NATO has been committed to Bosnia-Herzegovina for many years. Your security matters for the Western Balkans region. 
And it matters for Europe. 

So therefore we are deepening our cooperation and our political dialogue, as well as our practical cooperation. 

NATO’s Headquarters here in Sarajevo helps to coordinate our support to the European Union-led Operation Althea.
NATO Allies and NATO remain fully committed to the success of the mission, and I welcome the unanimous extension to its mandate at the UN Security Council earlier this month. 

We are supporting your reform efforts, including through the new Defence Capacity Building package. This will strengthen your capabilities in areas like crisis management, cyber defence, and countering terrorism. 

NATO also remains committed to supporting Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic path.  

Every country has the right to choose its own security arrangements. With no foreign interference. 

And I commend Bosnia-Herzegovina for its achievements on your path to membership in the European Union. 

Once again, thank you so much for hosting me and my delegation here today.