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Progress In Bosnia And Herzegovina

Bosnia is making progress in its quest for European Union membership.

The United States welcomes Bosnia and Herzegovina’s recent political progress.

The United States welcomes Bosnia and Herzegovina’s recent political progress.

The Bosnian parliament has passed two key laws required by the European Union: the Law on State Aid and the Law on the Population Census, Households and Apartments. As a result Bosnia and Herzegovina will conduct a census next April. Both laws are critical milestones on the road to full European integration.

Using these successes as a stepping stone, the United States encourages Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sejdic-Finci [SAY-ditch Fin-tsi] case from 2009, where the court ruled that Bosnia and Herzegovina has to eliminate discriminatory constitutional provisions which prevent minorities from serving as members of the state presidency or upper house of parliament.

The United States is also encouraged by the March 9th political agreement on principles to be used to resolve the issues of defense and state property in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The agreement should be implemented and defense properties should be registered as soon as possible in order to meet conditions for participation in NATO’s Membership Action Plan.

Implementation of both state and defense property deals would complete outstanding objectives, such as bringing Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to meeting the Peace Implementation Council’s criteria for closing the Office of the High Representative, the lead civilian peace implementation agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Finally, the United States remains committed to preserving Bosnia and Herzegovina’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and is deeply concerned by ongoing nationalistic statements by senior Republika Srpska officials acknowledging deliberate obstruction of Dayton Institutions and referencing the dissolution of the state. “Such statements” said Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Rosemary DiCarlo, “do not help the country move forward and are unacceptable. . . .We hope all parties will continue to engage in political dialogue with a view towards serving the needs of all Bosnian citizens.”