27 August 2010
Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH Sven Alkalaj and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Guido Westerwelle held a press conference
On August 27, 2010, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sven Alkalaj held a working breakfast with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Guido Westerwelle, who visited BiH from 26 - 27 August 2010.
Afterwards, ministers Alkalaj and Westerwelle held a press conference and informed present media representatives of the topics discussed at the working breakfast.
Minister Alkalaj thanked his German colleague for everything that Germany has done for BiH through their engagement in NATO, EUFOR and EUPM. He added that he informed Minister Westerwelle of the current situation in BiH and the forthcoming elections. They also discussed issues very important for BiH, namely the liberalization of visa regime and the admission to the European Union and NATO. Minister Alkalaj emphasized that during the working breakfast a special attention was devoted to economic cooperation between BiH and Germany; the possibilities of cooperation in the energy sector and the construction of Corridor Vc were also considered.
Bosnian Head of Diplomacy Alkalaj stated that the cooperation within international organizations was discussed, whereby it was stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina will support Germany's candidacy for membership in the UN Security Council in years 2011 and 2012.
At the press conference, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Guido Westerwelle stressed that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a clear European perspective, and that its road to Europe leads through the internal agreement, as well as the unity of the country.
"Bosnia and Herzegovina has only one European perspective, not a number of them. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall on no account be questioned," said Minister Westerwelle. He pointed out that the road to NATO and the European Union is linked with hard work and dedication and in this context, he stressed the need for the constitutional reform. He expressed the expectations that following the general elections on October 3, political forces will actively work on it, and that this process should follow European legislation which clearly stipulates that every citizen has an equal right to vote. He added that there is a need to discuss ways of limiting the power of different ethnic groups to block decisions, in order to efficiently make decisions at the state level. Also, Minister Westerwelle added, the German experience shows that federalism has to be efficient.
German Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction that BiH has fulfilled the requirements for visa liberalization, such as the introduction of biometric documents and adjustment of security structures to European standards, adding that Germany is now awaiting the European Commission progress report in early September, when the final assessment will be made.
"German support for Bosnia and Herzegovina will not give in, because we feel BiH also as a partner in human terms", said Westerwelle.
On August 26, 2010, Minister Alkalaj hosted a walk through the old town of Sarajevo, during which the two Ministers visited City Hall, Kazandžiluk, Sebilj, Sarači, Morića han and the Cathedral.