The US does not consider that the ongoing talks between Serbia and Kosovo have anything to do with Bosnia, the newly appointed US Ambassador to Sarajevo, Eric Nelson, said on Thursday in his first press conference after taking office, N1 reported.
“The US position is clear that there is no parallel between the negotiations taking place between Serbia and Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.
The statement refers to concerns that a possible swap of territories between Pristina and Belgrade may lead to more changes of borders in the region, particularly those of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“What similarities do exist and what’s needed across the region is political courage and foresight to make important compromises to improve the security of the region,” he said, adding that such compromises “must always respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this country.”
Nelson also said that the US takes “the negative influences of Russia” which he said continues to “try to destabilise” the country “very seriously,” adding that Russia has done so “in Montenegro and elsewhere” as well.
“We’re working hard to counter that and get the right message out about how the United States is a true friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I look forward to spending a lot of time travelling the country, talking to citizens here about that,” he said.
The new US Ambassador pointed out that Russia is “an important partner” in the Peace Implementation Council (PIC), which is the international community body tasked with overseeing the implementation of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the war.
The US and Russia “need to agree on BiH’s path forward,” he said.
“And that path forward, which all citizens here have endorsed, is toward integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions,” Nelson said, adding that there is “a good consensus here” that the partnership with NATO is valuable for the country and should continue.
Bosnia’s integration into NATO is a divisive topic between the representatives of the three major ethnic groups in the country.