News article

Taking over NATO Contact Point Embassy role in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

As of 1 January 2015, the British Embassy Sarajevo became the NATO Contact Point Embassy for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

The United Kingdom is a strong supporter of BiH’s Euro-Atlantic path and acting as Contact Point Embassy is a practical way to show that support.

Unfortunately BiH progress towards NATO membership has been fraught with delays. In 2010, NATO responded to a formal request by the BiH Presidency by making a conditional offer of a Membership Action Plan. That condition was, and remains, the registration of defence property to the State, in line with the Constitution and with rulings by the Constitutional Court. Moreover issues such as defence reform and modernisation, and the improved accountability of institutions must also be addressed.

As Contact Point Embassy, the British Embassy will work on three areas:

  • strategic engagement with government authorities in BiH and with NATO Headquarters in Brussels to push forward resolution of issues relating to the NATO accession process;

  • improving the coordination of bilateral engagement on defence reform by international partners, and ensuring that our activities are as coherent and as efficient as possible in support of the objectives of the BiH Ministry of Defence and of NATO Headquarters;

  • getting out and talking to citizens to improve understanding of NATO membership and its advantages;

The UK is clear that membership of NATO is firmly in the interests of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and of the wider region. It is the most successful alliance in the world, and the best means of ensuring regional security and stability. Moving towards NATO membership would send a positive message about the long-term stability of BiH.