Joint press statements

by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Elmedin Konaković

  • 01 Feb. 2024 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 01 Feb. 2024 17:12

(As delivered)

Thank you so much Minister Konaković, dear Elmedin,
Thank you so much for your warm welcome.

It is good to be back in Sarajevo. You mentioned that our Secretary General visited just a few months back. But the Council visited Sarajevo in 2010. So this is a visit long overdue.

Also, I'm very happy to be here with the North Atlantic Council. 31 allies and Sweden soon to become the 32nd member of the most successful Alliance in human history.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a long-standing and close NATO partner.

Today we discussed the security situation in your country and its implications for stability in the broader region.

Because what happens in Bosnia and Herzegovina matters for the security in the Western Balkans.

And what happens in the Western Balkans matters for all of us in Europe,

NATO strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Secessionist policies and divisive rhetoric undermine stability and hamper reforms and the well-being of your people.
All political leaders must work together, to preserve unity and safeguard national institutions. 

So Minister Konaković, I welcome your strong commitment to reform and to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic path.

NATO has been committed to your country for many years.

Supporting your reform efforts, including through our Defense Capacity Building package.

To help strengthen your capabilities in areas like crisis management, cyber defence and countering terrorism.

These reforms make Bosnia and Herzegovina more resilient and more secure.
And offer a brighter future for all your citizens, as you continue, as we strongly support the continuation of your Euro-Atlantic path.

We appreciate the contribution of your country to our common security. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not only receiving support, it is also giving back.
You have been in Afghanistan as the Minister mentioned. We are very happy to see that you are taking part in the effort of NATO to go to the next level of our preparations.

I'm very happy and proud to see that an infantry brigade has been certified as a top level standards. This is a two-way street for strengthening security in the region and in the whole of Europe.

So we stand ready to continue to dynamize our political dialogue and strengthen our practical cooperation.

And NATO's Headquarters here in Sarajevo will continue to coordinate our support to the European Union-led Operation Althea, under the Berlin plus arrangements.

So thank you again for hosting us. This will be two days of very intense visits, understanding of your country's needs.

And as somebody who has dedicated all my life, professional and political life, to bringing my home country of Romania into the Euro-Atlantic fold, I can say one thing, it's your decision, how fast and where you want to go.
But there is absolutely no other truth that all our nations that join the Euro-Atlantic family, in the last 25 years since NATO and EU have enlarged, are better off, are more prosperous, are more secure, are more self-confident, and give to our citizens better lives. That's a reality. And it's up to you, and we hope to continue our partnership with your very important nation. All the way.

And also the Minister is a superstar in my home country of Romania. He played and he won the championship in my country. So anytime you come to my country Minister, you will have the best reception ever.