NATO Secretary General in visit to Sarajevo expresses Alliance support for Balkans
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in a visit to Sarajevo on Wednesday (21 May 2014) expressed sincere condolences for the lives lost in the recent devastating floods that hit Bosnia and Herzegovina. "My thoughts are with the families and communities affected," the Secretary General said. "We stand ready to help in any way we can if requested."
NATO’s disaster response coordination centre has already received requests for help from Bosnia. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen stressed that many allies and partners are responding by sending helicopters, emergency response teams, boats, drinking water, food, shelter and funds. NATO is also in close contact with the European Union to see where the Alliance can be of further assistance.
In Sarajevo for long-planned talks with senior political leaders, the Secretary General said that NATO remains committed to the future of the Western Balkans. “Your security, your stability and your future matter to us,” said Mr. Fogh Rasmussen. He met the Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Mr. Bakir Izetbegović and other members of the Presidency, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Vjekoslav Bevanda, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Zlatko Lagumdzija, the Minister of Defence, Mr Zekerijah Osmic and leaders of the country’s political parties. “We count on you to show the unity, leadership and political courage needed to move forward in your commitment to Euro-Atlantic aspirations, the same qualities that are needed today in dealing with this terrible natural disaster. And rest assured that you can continue to count on NATO’s support,” the Secretary General said.