Press release

Foreign Secretary presses for real progress in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Foreign Secretary and German Foreign Minister visit Bosnia to urge its leaders to adopt vital reforms.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Sarajevo on 16 January 2014 to secure support for reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina that, if implemented, will greatly improve life for all Bosnians and unlock the next stage of their path towards EU accession.

Speaking at the end of a three-day visit to the Balkans, Philip Hammond said:

Following October’s elections, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a window of opportunity to make progress to become a dynamic, prosperous and stable country. Last February’s protests were a warning that things cannot continue as they have done. The people of Bosnia and Herzegovina demand a better future.

Our visit today was designed to encourage political leaders from all levels of Government from across Bosnia and Herzegovina to come together and endorse this initiative. We have urged them today to take this opportunity while it is on the table.

We have urged them to act in the national interest and to put the past, and ethnic and religious differences, behind them. And to think of the future.

We leave Sarajevo with a sense of optimism and confidence for the future. Confidence that the political leaders of this country will not pass on this opportunity.

We welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina’s engagement and we welcome that commitment.

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Published 16 January 2015