Schroeder supports talksbetween EU and Bosnia
3 May 2005, SARAJEVO - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder arrived on Tuesday in Bosnia-Herzegovina and came out in favour of swift Bosnian association with the European Union.
3 May 2005
SARAJEVO - German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder arrived on Tuesday in Bosnia-Herzegovina and came out in favour of swift Bosnian association with the European Union.
During a meeting with Schroeder, Bosnian prime minister Adnan Terzic in Sarajevo expounded on the country's achievements and reforms needed for accession into Europe.
Afterwards, Terzic told reporters "Bosnia needs strong political support in getting closer to Europe", adding, "We do need strong support in Brussels, but support based on our achievements."
Schroeder praised reforms in Bosnia-Herzegovina in recent years and said the European Union should soon start negotiations on the EU stabilisation and association agreement.
He offered to send German experts to Bosnia to help draft a new constitution and economic reforms and expressed support for a cautious relaxation of visa regulations while observing German security standards.
The Dayton Peace Agreement has been in use as the country's constitution since it was signed to stop the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia- Herzegovina nearly a decade ago.
Many politicians and analysts believe that the current constitution divides the country into two administrative ethnic-based entities, but hinders Bosnia's progress towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.
Prior to a meeting with the Bosnian tri-partite state presidency and international administrator Paddy Ashdown, Schroeder met with a delegation from the 'Srebenica Mothers'.
They had requested his support in apprehending 890 people suspected of involvement in the Srebrenica massacre on 11 July 1995 when up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men were massacred by Bosnian Serb troops when they captured the enclave.
"I know how difficult this is for you and I know how much you have suffered," said Schroeder, adding, "We are trying in all possible ways to help where we can help."
Schroeder was also visiting German military forces in Rajlovac. With 1,100 troops, the German contingent is one of the largest in the EU-led peace force.
Schroeder will later fly on to Ankara for talks with Turkish leaders.
Subject: German news