Ferrero-Waldner in Bosnia and Herzegovina: "The stabilisation of the region ultimately secures our own stability"
Regional cooperation and good neighbourhood policy as an important contribution to the stabilisation of the Western Balkans
Sarajevo, 23 June 2004 - On the occasion of her visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner met with high-ranking political representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska as well as the High Representative Paddy Ashdown. Ferrero-Waldner in this context emphasised the support the reform process in Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoys within the international community as well as in Austria: "The international community is persevering in its efforts to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in her transformation into a modern European state. Within the circle of the European Union, Austria is one of the most decided supporters of a concretisation of the country’s European perspective," the Foreign Minister said. In this context, Ferrero-Waldner emphasised the importance of "achieving a rapprochement to EU standards in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the other Western Balkan countries as soon as possible and of evaluating each country on its specific achievements."
The Foreign Minister further underlined the need for a good neighbourhood policy to promote the stabilisation of the situation in the Western Balkans: "Regional cooperation is one of the major elements in the continued integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the European community of states. In this context, efforts must focus on a new, seminal form of cooperation at the level of the entire Bosnian and Herzegovinian state that has the potential of promoting stability in the region." Ferrero-Waldner further stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina's unrestricted cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague was an absolute must on the way to EU integration and securing a stable peace in the region.