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news 08 Feb 13

NATO Urges Bosnia to Register State Property

Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO urged Bosnia to implement last year's agreement on registering state property as a condition of advancing its membership of the alliance.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

The chair of Bosnia's tri-partite Presidency, Nebojsa Radmanovic, said Bosnia must move ahead with registering military property as a condition for joining NATO.

After a meeting with Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, on February 7, he recalled that political agreement was reached on the issue a year ago.

It now has to be implemented so that Bosnia's Membership Action Plan, MAP, can be put into force, he added.

Joining NATO is Bosnia's “wish... as a guarantee of peace in the world,” Radmanovic said, urging the ruling parties to implement their agreement from March 2012.

Rasmussen said that NATO was ready to activate the MAP as soon as Bosnia registers military property as state property, which is the last remaining condition for the country.

“This is a national decision, I am not here in Sarajevo as a head of an international organization to impose any solutions,” Rasmussen said.

But he noted that by joining NATO, along with the European Union, Bosnia would assure itself security and economic prosperity.

“Look at the countries in Central and Eastern Europe and see how they benefited from NATO and EU,” Rasmussen said, “they enjoy security that has also made them attractive for foreign investment and they've seen high economic growth and job creation.”

He also said that the move would show that a political agreement, and its implementation, remains possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the Presidency meeting, Rasmussen also met Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda, the leaderships of both parliamentary chambers and leaders of the six ruling parties.

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, head of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, said that after meeting with Rasmussen that the parties had agreed to discuss implementing last year's agreement.

But he added that his party still opposed the decision of the Bosnian Constitutional Court on state property last year.

This ruled that 22 locations of military property in the Bosnian Serb entity, the Republika Srpska, should be registered as state property and given to the Defence Ministry.

The ruling came after Republika Srpska in 2010 adopted a law on the status of the state property being on its territory, which declared that all property that used to belong to the Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had succeeded to the Serb entity.

After the leader of the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Sulejman Tihic, appealed to the Constitutional Court, the Court last year said that only the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina could consider itself a successor to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus all state property belonged to the state, not the two entities.

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