Bosnia-Herzegovina - Foreign policy



The international community has remained intensely involved in Bosnia's affairs. NATO's mandate continues, and the UN High Representative continues to exercise expanded executive powers. An international donors' conference for Bosnia was held in May 1999. Two months later, Bosnia hosted a summit meeting of leaders from more than 30 countries and international organizations. The meeting launched the Balkan Stability Pact, an initiative to strengthen peace and stability, deepen democracy and civil society, and promote economic reforms throughout southeastern Europe, including Bosnia. While Bosnia-Herzegovina had no real prospect of being chosen as a candidate for European Union membership when, in late 2002, the EU listed the ten candidates it had chosen for its first round of expansion, eventual integration into the EU remains the country's main international aspiration.

In November 1999, to mark the fourth anniversary of the Dayton peace accords, the three members of Bosnia's joint presidency addressed the UN Security Council, pledging to strengthen national institutions bridging the divided country's two political entities. They also made several specific joint proposals, including the institution of a common national passport for all Bosnians, a 15-member secretariat for the presidency, and the formation of a multiethnic border patrol and a peacekeeping unit to aid UN troops already in place. In 2002, negotiations began among Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro to eliminate visa requirements for travel between the three countries. In July 2002, the then-chairman of the presidency, Beriz Belkic, hosted a meeting in Sarajevo among the heads of state of Yugoslavia (later renamed Serbia and Montenegro), Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

In 2003, Bosnia-Herzegovina entered into bilateral negotiations with the United States on a treaty granting some degree of immunity to U.S. personnel serving in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The United States had initiated such discussions with several countries around the world, fearing its military personnel would become victims of politically motivated prosecutions by the newly established International Criminal Court in The Hague.

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