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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 18 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What recent assessment they have made of the security and political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. [HL4760]

We are concerned by the lack of political progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). BiH's politicians need to reach agreement on police reform and achieve full co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague so that BiH can sign its stabilisation and association agreement with the EU. Constitutional reform will also be necessary if BiH is to deliver effective governance for its citizens and carry out the reforms that the EU accession process will require. Over the past year, we regret that BiH's political leaders have not made more sustained efforts to work together constructively to move BiH closer towards the EU and NATO. We regularly express our concerns about the lack of political progress bilaterally, through the EU and in conjunction with the Office of the High Representative/EU Special Representative (EUSR). We welcome the recent appointment of Miroslav Lajcak as High Representative and EUSR.

The security situation in BiH has been stable for some time. Our concern over the current political situation does not give rise to concern over the security situation. Indeed, on the basis of clear military advice from the operation commander we, along with EU partners, decided to reduce the numbers of troops deployed in BiH from around 6,500 to around 2,500 earlier this year. This process is now complete. We continue to provide capacity- building assistance on security, policing and rule of law.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the independence, sovereignty and unity of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and whether they are making representations in bilateral or multilateral fora in this regard. [HL4761]

The UK recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as an independent state in 1992. BiH's constitutional arrangements and internal boundaries are those set out in the Dayton Accords which were concluded in Paris on 14 December 1995.

We remain firm in our support for the Dayton Accords: they are the basis of the peace and stability that BiH now enjoys. We regularly make this clear, both bilaterally and in multilateral fora. If the people of BiH wish to revisit their constitutional arrangements, this must be through a consensual process in accordance with constitutional procedures.