Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Denis Bećirović, member of the tripartite Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to NATO Headquarters on Monday (16 January 2023).
Mr. Stoltenberg stressed that the stability of the whole region of the Western Balkans is of strategic importance to the Alliance, as mentioned in the Strategic Concept adopted at the Madrid Summit. He encouraged Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leadership to continue focusing on reforms for the benefit of the whole country and to preserve multi-ethnic institutions at all levels.
Mr. Stoltenberg and Mr. Bećirović discussed concerns about separatist actions and divisive rhetoric which can provide fertile soil for malign external activities. The Secretary General urged all political leaders to refrain from divisive rhetoric and to make concrete steps towards domestic reconciliation. He stressed that NATO fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Secretary General highlighted that NATO supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations and that work is underway to develop a Defence Capacity Building package that will propose projects aimed at strengthening the country’s defence and security capabilities. He said that NATO will continue to provide support to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defence sector reforms, including through the NATO Headquarters Sarajevo.