LJUBLJANA, October 12 (FENA) – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bisera Turković, after talks in Ljubljana with Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar, emphasized at a press conference the friendly relations between the two countries with multi-layered and unbreakable ties, which is why she believes in a common European future.
During her working visit to Slovenia, Minister Turković and Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed several important topics, including issues of European integration, the situation in the Western Balkans, the repercussions of the EU-Western Balkans summit, the fight against the pandemic, economic cooperation, and interstate agreements and other topics important for BiH citizens living, working or studying in Slovenia.
Turković welcomed the holding of the EU-Western Balkans Summit under the Slovenian presidency and congratulated the country on its successful EU presidency.
“It is extremely important that the enlargement of the European Union has remained high on the agenda despite other challenges facing the European Union. A clear European perspective is key to the security and stability of the entire Western Balkans region. Its absence opens space for foreign, negative influences. The idea of specifying the deadline for countries to join the EU can be an important stimulus,” she said.
Turković emphasized the undoubted great progress of the last decades, but also adds that there is still a lot of work ahead of everyone, which is evident from everyday events not only in BiH but also in other countries in the region.
“Without a stable and secure Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is no stable region. Only the strengthening of the state and its capacities can guarantee that we will successfully overcome all the challenges on the path to the EU. We expect the strengthening of the fight against corruption and crime, which will certainly affect the political blockades. The inflammatory rhetoric and attempts to slow down the progress that we all see are losing the support and strength that they are now drawing from some foreign influences, and not from the democratic legitimacy or support of the people and citizens,” said Minister Turković.
Speaking about other topics after the meeting with the Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, she said that entrepreneurs and competent institutions in the Republic of Slovenia treat Bosnia and Herzegovina as a very important market and an important economic partner in the region. The total trade of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Slovenia in 2020 amounted to 1.79 billion KM.
At the meeting with her Slovenian colleague, she also discussed the fight against the pandemic, Slovenian assistance in the vaccination process in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the continuation of mass immunization.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has made significant progress in the fight against illegal migration and the situation has stabilized, she said, presenting other topics in today’s talks with Logar. She assessed this problem as regional and said that it can be solved only with joint action, under the auspices of the European Union.
At the press conference, Anže Logar expressed his support and promised his country’s further assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina in its aspirations towards the European Union, citing the necessary progress in meeting the conditions as the best argument for the desired membership.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a target country for Slovenia’s development cooperation, Logar said, recalling his country’s projects in BiH in recent years, as well as the donation of 48,000 AstraZeneca vaccines and an additional 100,000 doses of Pfizer on the way as well as Slovenian assistance in protective equipment during 2020 and 2021, worth about 260,000 euros.
The Slovenian Minister reminds that after the session of the European Parliament, he signed a decree on the establishment of an instrument of pre-accession assistance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will benefit the entire region, and especially the population of BiH.
Anže Logar expressed hope that good trade cooperation between the two countries will continue, and regarding the migration crisis, he stated that this is one of the challenges of the countries of the Western Balkans, for which cooperation is essential.