BiH and Serbia to Strengthen Economic, Cultural Cooperation

Bosnia and Serbia are committed to peace and cooperation in the social, cultural and economic aspect, Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic and her Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic confirmed Wednesday (17.03) after a meeting in Belgrade, announcing the opening of Bosnia’s Consulate in Novi Pazar. 

“This shows a commitment to the improvement of relations. I would like to welcome the decision of the Government of Serbia for the opening of the BiH consulate in Novi Pazar, which is a step towards developing our good-neighborly cooperation”, said Turkovic, adding: 

“I also want to remind you that we offered and provided aid to Novi Pazar. It’s time for the visits between two delegations to intensify. We’ve had three meetings so far in a relatively short time. This comes nine years after there was not a single official meeting.” 

She added that it is in the interest of both countries to build good neighborly relations. 

“It’s important that the two delegations organize joint meetings and work on resolving outstanding issues. they can’t be solved with one meeting, but can with a long work of a joint commission. Our country has formed a new state commission for borders and we expect a new approach to solving the border issue”, Turkovic noted. “What’s important is the construction of the Sarajevo-Belgrade highway and the revitalization of railway traffic between our two countries. Our commitment is to strengthen cooperation in the region, under the auspices of the Berlin Process, and we are willing to look at all initiatives in that direction.” 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said that the meeting with Minister Biser Turkovic showed how important good neighborly relations between Serbia and BiH are, stressing that “the stability of BiH is extremely important” for the Republic of Serbia. 

“The Republic of Serbia respects the territorial integrity of BiH, its structure of government on the basis of the Dayton Peace Agreement, and knowing that this is often the topic of Sarajevo political forums outside Sarajevo in the region, Europe, and the world can be a complex and complicated structure. I want to say that we are the ones who are interested in stability and peace in the region and we will respect every agreement that exists between both entities and all three constituent peoples”, said Selakovic. 

He pointed out that they are equally willing to develop cooperation with Bosnia’s Federation entity (FBiH) as well as the Republika Srpska (RS) entity, but also with the state level of BiH. 

“My arrival in Sarajevo is a confirmation of the intensification of our political dialogue. It was now conducted at the level of foreign ministers, but it is also possible to continue the dialogue at the level of the Government of Serbia and the Council of Ministers through joint sessions and bilateral political consultations that have not been held since 2019. Our relations are also taking place in non-bilateral formats, with a trilateral meeting with Turkey which went well. It’s in the common interest of Serbia and BiH that the functioning of our joint trade representation in Istanbul begins to function in full capacity, in May this year”, Selakovic said. 

He said that the cooperation between Serbia and BiH is especially fruitful in the field of economy and that the two countries are major foreign trade partners, which is evidenced by the fact that trade during the Covid year amounted to €1,740,000. 

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