Republika Srpska Rejects Memorandum on Security Cooperation with US

The parliament of the Republika Srpska vetoed on Wednesday July 29, a memorandum aimed at improving the security cooperation between the US and Bosnia and Herzegovina, calling it harmful to vital interests of Republika Srpska, the semi-autonomous entity of BiH dominated by Serbs. 

Milorad Dodik, the Bosnian Serb leader and the Serb member of tripartite Presidency of BiH, said the agreement which was passed by his Croat and Bosnian counterparts on July 22, was “very harmful” to the Serb-dominated entity’s vital interests, calling on members of the parliament of the Republika Srpska to support his decision and reject it with a two-thirds majority vote. 

The security memorandum in question deals with further enhancement of cooperation between Bosnia’s Security Ministry and the US Department of Homeland Security in the use of travel information. 

The memorandum is especially important as it strengthens Bosnia’s cooperation with the US in the field of organized crime and counter-terrorism. 

Dodik believes that the exchange of travel information is contrary to Republika Srpska interests and Bosnia’s Constitution. 

“This Memorandum excludes any possibility of engaging the police and any other agency of the Republika Srpska on these matters, and that is the main reason why I thought this Memorandum should not receive our support”, Dodik said addressing the emergency session. 

The Interior Minister Dragan Lukac said that his Ministry supports all initiatives contributing to the fight against terrorism and organized crime, but that “the Memorandum approved by the Bosnian Presidency neither protects the basic human rights of Bosnian citizens nor does it respect the constitutional structure in Bosnia”. 

Apart from this agreement, the Republika Srpska National Assembly also rejected the Agreement on Bosnia’s participation in the International Student Assessment Program (PISA) 2021 and the Decision on Bosnia’s accession to the International Reading Literacy Development Survey (PIRLS) 2021. 

Thus the Republika Srpska parliament rejected three decisions adopted by the collective head of state of Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at improving the educational system in the country and the security cooperation between the US and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

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