Remarks to the troops

by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at Rajlovac military base

  • 02 Feb. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 02 Feb. 2024 14:27

(As delivered)

Thank you so much, dear Minister Helez, dear Zukan.
Thank you so much for welcoming the North Atlantic Council at the Rajlovac military base today.

This visit of the North Atlantic Council to Sarajevo demonstrates the importance of the long-standing partnership between NATO and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Following the visit of our Secretary General last November.

Yesterday and today it is another opportunity to discuss how to take our cooperation even further forward.

Important work is underway across many areas since NATO Defence Ministers approved the new Defence Capacity Building package for your country last year.

This package consists of multiple projects.

In the crisis management field we are working to expand a software platform which helps to share information on disasters.

On counter-terrorism, we are developing a training curriculum for the Ministry of Security.

We are helping to upgrade facilities for the safe storage of small arms and light weapons.
And working to upgrade infrastructure at the national Training and Doctrine Command.

We also continue to provide support to courses run by the Ministry of Defence for officers and non-commissioned officers. 

The armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are one of the country’s most important multi-ethnic institutions.
That have gone through a remarkable transformation since they were created back in 2005.

So Minister Helez, thank you for this opportunity to discuss how we can continue our political and practical cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As our Secretary General has said, your security matters for the Western Balkans region.
And it matters for Europe.
And I think this visit of the North Atlantic Council, the first one since 2010, is a very important step, both politically and practically on our long standing partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

We had a chance to meet here, women and men in uniform that have served with us in difficult places like Afghanistan and Iraq and we are grateful for that work.

And as we said, it's up to you and your political leadership and to the people of Bosnia Herzegovina to decide your future.

And you will always have in NATO, an honest well intentioned and far reaching partner to achieve your aspirations for your Euro Atlantic path.

So dear Minister Helez, through you, please extend our warmest words of gratitude to your women and men in uniform. I think this visit will amplify our cooperation and help to see much more of this important donations and contributions by Allies and partners to the success of your armed forces. Thank you so much for being our host today.