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News 15 Jan 15

Bosnian Claim to Adriatic Alarms Montenegro

The government in Podgorica has expressed concern about a Bosnian initiative to reclaim a slice of Montenegro's coast that some say should belong to Bosnia.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica

 

Bosnia's parliament on Thursday will debate a resolution calling on the government to reject a proposed agreement with Montenegro aimed at determining the border.

The initiative, proposed by parliamentarian Denis Becirovic in November, says it is unacceptable for Bosnia to allow Montenegro to keep a part of the strategically important Bay of Kotor, close to the town of Herceg Novi.

Becirovic believes that the villages of Sutorina and Krusevica rightly form part of Bosnia.

Several Bosnian politicians and university professors have joined in the cause, noting that the borders of this part of the bay were changed in 1936 between the counties of Trebinje and Kotor - the former of which now lies in Bosniam while the latter is now in Montenegro.

The disputed Sutorina area would give Bosnia a second access point to the Adriatic Sea. It currently has a small stretch of coast around 24km long either side of the town of Neum.

The Montenegrin authorities have expressed concern about the initiative in Sarajevo, saying that it could jeopardise the border agreement.

On Tuesday, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Igor Luksic met the Bosnian Ambassador to Podgorica, Djordje Latinovic, to tell him that Montenegro hopes that the agreement will be signed soon.

The two former Yugoslav republics finished the technical process to determine their border in May 2014, and the two governments adopted the agreement by November.

"We express our hope that this issue will be solved in the spirit of good neighborly relations, especially having in mind that in the final meeting in Sarajevo in May, the joint border commission agreed and initialed all border documents," the government said in a statement.

 

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