NATO Secretary General calls on Bosnia and Herzegovina to make progress on needed reforms

  • 18 Mar. 2014 -
  • |
  • Last updated: 18 Mar. 2014 10:34

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen encouraged Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leadership on Tuesday (18 March 2014) to implement the necessary reforms in order to allow the Alliance to activate the country’s Membership Action Plan (MAP). “We stand by our offer to activate the Membership Action Plan. But only Bosnia and Herzegovina can unlock that offer,” the Secretary General said after his meeting with Mr. Željko Komšić, member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Zeljko Komsic, Member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on their way to the joint press point

Allies formally invited Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the MAP in 2010. However, that offer is conditional on the country implementing a key reform; registering immovable defence property. “I welcome the efforts under way and your leadership and spirit of compromise to resolve the issue,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said, adding that the MAP will move Bosnia and Herzegovina “closer to NATO and the Euro-Atlantic community.”

 The Secretary General said NATO also looks forward to progress in other defence reform areas, and for wider democratic and economic reforms to tackle corruption and improve the rule of law. “Recent demonstrations reflect a popular call for reforms,” he said. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen reiterated that NATO is committed to the stability and security of the Western Balkans and to the Euro-Atlantic integration of those nations that aspire to join the Alliance. After his bilateral talks with the Secretary General, Mr. Komšić met with the North Atlantic Council to discuss reform progress and his country’s membership aspirations.

Mr. Fogh Rasmussen thanked Bosnia and Herzegovina for the continued contribution to our mission in Afghanistan, “where you have helped make a difference” and for the additional deployment of 26 military police this January to Kandahar where they are partnering with American National Guard troops.