UN, EC ‘Blacklists’ Bosniak Leader, Minister

Sarajevo – Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) member of the tripartite presidency, Haris Silajdzic, and party associate, Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj are “not welcome any more” in senior UN and EC circles.

This allegation, reported by Croatia’s Vecernji List on Monday, was immediately rebuffed by Silajdzic’s advisor Damir Arnaut.

“We have no indications that there is any truth to this,” Arnaut told Balkan Insight.

Quoting anonymous sources close to the United Nations in Brussels, Vecernji List reported that Silajdzic and Alkalaj are “not welcome any more” in senior UN and European Commission circles, and have been increasingly ignored over the past weeks and months.
According to the report, this is a result of Silajdzic’s radical rhetoric “from the past” and several diplomatic incidents in the last few weeks.
In September, Silajdzic addressed the UN General Assembly and then the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe but instead of representing his country, he gave personal speeches which blasted Bosnian Serbs for crimes committed during the war.
This move – which was timed if not motivated by October 5 local elections – infuriated Bosnian Serb leaders who once again threatened to use “all political and legal means, including a referendum” for the protection of the Serb-dominated entity of Republika Srpska.
In October, Silajdzic provoked EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, during a press conference in demanding from him to identify Bosnian Serbs as the main obstruction for the long-term stability of the country.
Vecernji List said top UN and EC officials have started avoiding Silajdzic because of his attitude.
The newspaper added that Bosnia’s Foreign Minister, Sven Alkalaj – who belongs to Silajdzic’s Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina – has also been silently blacklisted by the top UN and EC officials, because he has been using his official function and meetings, to lobby for Silajdzic and his ideas.
Arnaut said that during his stay at the UN General Assembly, Silajdzic held “more than 20 bilateral meetings” with top international officials, which proves that the article is incorrect.

Meanwhile in a written statement to Balkan Insight, Alkalaj rebuffed the Vecernji List report as “insinuations without grounds” and as part of  “a media offensive” aimed against Silajdzic and him.

Alkalaj said that none of the top EU officials have “ever send a message that either chairman Silajdzic or Minister Alkalaj are unwelcome.”

In the statement, Alkalaj stressed that Bosnia is on the verge of its greatest diplomatic success – becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council – mainly thanks to the lobbying by himself and Silajdzic.

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