Assistant Secretary Philip H. Gordon today said the formation of a state-level government in Bosnia was long overdue which took more than a year after the elections during an interview interview with Ivica Puljic of Al Jazeera-Balkans.
Reports say it took 16 months of wrangling, but the country has finally completed the formation of a new government this February 2011. The Parliament finally approved that Cabinet in a vote of 26-7, with one abstention.
In the interview, Mr. Gordon said the United States is encoraged that the parties in Bosia have come together to form a government.
Mr. Gordon commends Bosnia for coming with an agreed budget and taken other steps that show that the state level leadership can contribute to what that country needs.
“The United States remains strongly supportive of Bosnia and its continued Euro-Atlantic integration.” -Mr. Gordon
The first step was getting a state level government in place for Bosnia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
The United States would like to see leaders agree on the disposition of defense properties so that NATO can enhance its relationship with Bosnia, according to Mr. Gordon
The Unites States continues to remain very much engaged with Bosnia leaders on their path forward.
In addition, the United States strongly supports Bosnia as a country with different entities and different ethnic groups, but as one country.
“We believe that there’s no alternative to that. We strongly disagree with any notions of partition.” -Mr. Gordon
The United States believes that Bosnian Serbs, just as Bosnian Croats and Bosniaks can live and work in the same country.
An estimated 40,000 people went missing as a result of the conflicts of the 1990’s in the former Yugoslavia, approximately 30,000 of them in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The 1992-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was ended with the participation of the United States in brokering the 1995 Dayton Agreement. The United States maintains command of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. The U.S. government has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help with the rebuilding of the war-devastated country in terms of infrastructure, humanitarian aid, economic development, and military reconstruction.