Foreign relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina
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politics and government of
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The implementation of the Dayton Accords of 1995 has focused the efforts of policymakers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the international community, on regional stabilization in the countries-successors of the former Yugoslavia. Relations with its neighbors of Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia have been fairly stable since the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995.
Bosnia and Herzegovina-Bulgaria relations are foreign relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 January 1992. Since 1996, Bulgaria has an embassy in Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Sofia. Both countries are full members of the Southeast European Cooperation Process, of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe. Bulgaria was the first country to recognize Bosnia as an independent country.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is represented through the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Ottawa, while Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Budapest. Three Canadian organizations operate programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Department of National Defence (DND). Canada strongly supports the signing of the Dayton Agreement hoping it can help bring more stability to the region. Through the Canadian International Development Agency Canada has given more than CA$ 144 million in development assistance.
Exports of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Canada are worth about US$ 5.31 million per year, while exports of Canada to Bosnia and Herzegovina value about US$5.34 million per year.
Discussions continue with Croatia on several small disputed sections of the boundary related to maritime access that hinder final ratification of the 1999 border agreement.
Sections of the Una river and villages at the base of Mount Plješevica are in Croatia, while some are in Bosnia, which causes an excessive number of border crossings on a single route and impedes any serious development in the region. The Zagreb-Bihać-Split railway line is still closed for major traffic due to this issue. The road Karlovac-Plitvice Lakes-Knin, which is on the European route E71, is becoming increasingly unused because Croatia built a separate highway to the west of it.
The border on the Una river between Hrvatska Kostajnica on the northern, Croatian side of the river, and Bosanska Kostajnica on the southern, Bosnian side, is also being discussed. A river island between the two towns is under Croatian control, but is claimed by Bosnia. A shared border crossing point has been built and has been functioning since 2003, and is used without hindrance by either party.
The Herzegovinian municipality of Neum in the south makes the southernmost part of Croatia an exclave and the two countries are negotiating special transit rules through Neum to compensate for that. Recently Croatia has opted to build a bridge to the Pelješac peninsula to connect the Croatian mainland with the exclave but Bosnia and Herzegovina has protested that the bridge will close its access to international waters (although Croatian territory and territorial waters surround Bosnian-Herzegovinian territory and waters completely) and has suggested that the bridge must be higher than 55 meters for free passage of all types of ships. Negotiations are still being held.
Cyprus recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence on 7 February 2000, both countries established diplomatic relations on the same date. Bosnia and Herzegovina is represented in Cyprus through its embassy in Tel Aviv (Israel). Cyprus is represented in Bosnia and Herzegovina through its embassy in Budapest (Hungary). Both countries are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe.
The Czech Republic recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence on 8 February 1992. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 April 1993. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Prague. The Czech Republic has an embassy in Sarajevo. Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe.
Germany is one of the most important partners of Bosnia and Herzegovina in foreign affairs. Bilateral relations have developed steadily since diplomatic ties were established in mid-1994. Germany was closely involved in efforts to bring about peace before and after the conclusion of the Dayton Agreement. There is also a long tradition of economic relations between Germany and Bosnia. When the country was still part of the former Yugoslavia, joint ventures and cooperation played a large role here (motor industry, metal processing, textile industry/contract processing work, steel and chemicals). After the war, Germany took on a spearheading role in investments in production in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is undergoing a transitional phase from a centrally planned to a market economy. These investments are concentrated primarily in vehicle assembly and parts supply, the construction industry/cement, raw materials processing/ aluminum and regional dairy farming.
Greece recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence in 1992. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 30 November 1995. Since 1998, Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Athens. Since 1996, Greece has an embassy in Sarajevo. Both countries are full members of the Union for the Mediterranean, of the Southeast European Cooperation Process, of the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe. In 2006, Greece provided 80.4% of the funding for the reconstruction of the Greece–Bosnia and Herzegovina Friendship Building.
Hungary recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence on 9 April 1992. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 April 1992. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Budapest. Hungary has an embassy in Sarajevo. Both countries are full members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and of the Council of Europe.
Relations between Bosnia and Macedonia have mostly been very successful. The two countries first shared the same 90s objective of pursuing independence from Yugoslavia, and in the 21st century, the common objective of joining the EU and NATO.
Malaysia, under Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, had been one of the strongest supporters of the Bosnian cause during the war and the only Asian country that accept Bosnian refugees. Malaysia sent UN Peacekeeping troops to the former Yugoslavia. Malaysia maintains a number of investments in Bosnia-Herzegovina, one of the most significant is the Bosmal Group. Bosmal is a joint venture set up between Malaysian and Bosnian interests. A number of Bosnian students are currently studying at the International Islamic University Malaysia in Gombak. Malaysia maintains an embassy in Sarajevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina maintains an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Pakistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina enjoy close and cordial relations. Pakistan recognised the independence of Bosnia from Yugoslavia in 1992. Pakistan sent in UN Peacekeeping forces to the former Yugoslavia during the Yugoslav wars. During the war, Pakistan supported Bosnia while providing technical and military support to Bosnia. Pakistan and Bosnia have a free trade agreement. During the War time, Pakistan had hosted thousands of Bosnians as refugees in Pakistan. Pakistan has also provided medium-tech to high Tech weapons to Bosnian Government in the past.
Romania recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence on 1 March 1996, both countries established diplomatic relations on the same day. Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Bucharest. Romania has an embassy in Sarajevo. Relations were described as "excellent" by the foreign ministers in 2006, ahead of the opening of the Bosnian embassy in Bucharest.
Saudi Arabia has provided enormous financial assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina since its independence in 1992. Saudi interests also funded for the construction of the King Fahd Mosque, which is currently the largest mosque in Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina maintains an embassy in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia maintains an embassy in Sarajevo.
Bosnia and Herzegovina filed a suit against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia and Montenegro) before the International Court of Justice for aggression and genocide during the Bosnian War which was dismissed and Serbia was found innocent. Sections along the Drina River remain in dispute between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Turkey provided both political and financial support to Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. After the war, relations have improved even more, and today Turkey is one of BiH's top foreign investors and business partners.
The 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was ended with the crucial participation of the United States in brokering the 1995 Dayton Accords. After leading the diplomatic and military effort to secure the Dayton agreement, the United States has continued to lead the effort to ensure its implementation. The United States maintains command of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. The United States has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to help with infrastructure, humanitarian aid, economic development, and military reconstruction in Herzegovina and Bosnia. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Support for Eastern European Democracies (SEED) has played a large role in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, including programs in economic development and reform, democratic reform (media, elections), infrastructure development, and training programs for Bosnian professionals, among others. Additionally, there are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have likewise played significant roles in the reconstruction.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has no diplomatic relations with:
- Bahamas, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados, Guyana,
- Bhutan, Myanmar
- Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Vanuatu, Tonga, Papua New Guinea
- Sierra Leone, Ghana, Togo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Lesotho, Seychelles, Madagascar, Somalia
- States with limited recognition (except Palestine).
The accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union is one of the main political objectives of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) is the EU's policy framework. Countries participating in the SAP have been offered the possibility to become, once they fulfill the necessary conditions, member states of the EU. Bosnia and Herzegovina is therefore a potential candidate country for EU accession.
Bosnia and Herzegovina receives support from donor programs of:
- European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
- European Union
- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- International Monetary Fund
In the 3 years since the Dayton Accords were signed, over $4 billion in foreign aid has flown into Bosnia, about $800 million of it coming from SEED funds. As stated above, this support has been key to the growth and revitalization of the economy and infrastructure in the republic. However, most of this aid has been targeted at the Federation; the previous government of the RS was anti-Dayton and not assisted by the U.S. The election of the "Sloga" or "Unity" Coalition government, led by Prime Minister Dodik, has shifted the balance of power in the Republika Srpska (RS) to a pro-Dayton stance and will result in an upsurge of funding to the RS from the international community.
In addition to SEED funding, USAID programs have been crucial to the redevelopment of Bosnia and Herzegovina. USAID has programming in the following areas: economic policy reform and restructuring; private sector development (the Business Development Program); infrastructure rebuilding; democratic reforms in the media, political process and elections, and rule of law/legal code formulation; and training programs for women and diplomats.
Bank for International Settlements, Council of Europe, Central European Initiative, EBRD, Energy Community United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, FAO, Group of 77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, International Criminal Court, International Development Association, IFAD, International Finance Corporation, IFRCS, ILO, International Monetary Fund, International Maritime Organization, Interpol, IOC, International Organization for Migration (observer), ISO, ITU, Non-Aligned Movement (guest), Organization of American States (observer), OIC (observer), OPCW, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Southeast European Cooperative Initiative, United Nations, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)
Refugees and internally displaced persons
- refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)
- IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)
Increasingly a transit point for heroin being trafficked to Western Europe; minor transit point for cannabis; remains highly vulnerable to money-laundering activity given a primarily cash-based and unregulated economy, weak law enforcement, and instances of corruption.
- List of diplomatic missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- List of diplomatic missions of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Visa requirements for Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens
- Bulgarian embassy in Sarajevo
- Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Bosnian embassy in Sofia
- Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Bosnian representation to Cyprus
- Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Cypriot representation to Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Bosnian embassy in Prague
- "Czech embassy in Sarajevo". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "diplo - Startseite - HTTP Status 404". Auswärtiges Amt. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the relation with Bosnia and Herzegovina
- "Apostolska nuncijatura u BiH (Apostolic Nunciature in Bosnia and Herzegovina)" (in Croatian). Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Diplomatic Relations of the Holy See". The permanent observer mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- Hungarian embassy in Sarajevo (in Hungarian only)
- "Blonde Muslims find shelter in Pakistan: Refugees from Bosnia were given a warm welcome in a distant land, Ahmed Rashid writes from Islamabad". The Independent. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Bosnia-Romania relations "excellent" - foreign ministers". Onasa news agency. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
- "Defense.gov News Article: Russian Troops Arriving in Bosnia". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Worldwide organisations". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Bosnia and Herzegovina". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "European Commission - Enlargement - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Relations with the EU". Retrieved 20 February 2015.