Schwarz-Schilling presents his plans for Bosnia

30th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

30 January 2006, SARAJEVO/BRUSSELS - The new international administrator in Bosnia, German diplomat Christian Schwarz-Schilling, said Monday he hoped he would not need to impose his wide powers, but will rather have Bosnian authorities working more for the country's prosperity. European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels earlier formally appointed the former German minister as new envoy. At the same time they again warned that the bloc's plans for closer ties with Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia

30 January 2006

SARAJEVO/BRUSSELS - The new international administrator in Bosnia, German diplomat Christian Schwarz-Schilling, said Monday he hoped he would not need to impose his wide powers, but will rather have Bosnian authorities working more for the country's prosperity.

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels earlier formally appointed the former German minister as new envoy.

At the same time they again warned that the bloc's plans for closer ties with Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina were conditional on handing over suspected war criminals Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

"Full cooperation with the ICTY is essential to achieve lasting reconciliation in the region and lift a fundamental obstacle in the way towards the European Union", ministers said in a statement.

The pace and conclusions of the EU's current stabilisation and association talks with the countries depended on full cooperation with The Hague, they added.

Schwarz-Schilling, who Tuesday replaces his Briton Paddy Ashdown as the new high representative to Bosnia, presented five goals that will be on the top of his agenda.

While implementing major goals, he said, he would try not to use the wide high representative's powers which give him the authority to impose laws and decisions and to remove officials from their offices.

The first goal, he told reporters in Sarajevo, will be to help Bosnia's authorities successfully to end Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations with the European Union by the end of this year.

"My role in the SAA negotiations will be to advise both sides during the negotiations," said Schwarz-Schilling.

The next step, he said, would be Bosnia's further progress towards the NATO Partnership for Peace Programme, as the first move towards NATO membership after Bosnia's politicians agreed last year to unify armies of two ethnic entities into a single state-level armed force.

Successfully organized and transparent general elections, expected in October this year, were also on Schwarz-Schilling's along with the question of Karadzic and Mladic.

In the end, he said, Bosnia's citizens must change their view and rely more on the work of the local authorities, and less on the international community.

"I am here to help in making a normal European state. It is difficult, but possible to achieve that," said Schwarz-Schilling.

Schwarz-Schilling was given one-year mandate as the international community's high representative and the EU special representative in Bosnia, with the possibility of extension.

For a decade he was involved in political developments in Bosnia- Herzegovina as the international mediator for two Bosnia's entities - - the Srpska Republic and the Moslem-Croat Federation.

DPA

Subject: German news

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