Serbia, Bosnia confident there will be no arm conflicts in Balkans


Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia will advance their cooperation, which will contribute to the stabilisation of the entire region, the Chairman of the Bosnian Council of Ministers, Denis Zvizdic, and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Sarajevo on Wednesday, adding that there will be no armed conflicts in the region because of the migrant crisis.

Commenting on the warning by German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding possible conflicts in the Balkans because of the migrant wave on the Balkan route, Zvizdic told a news conference after a joint session of the Bosnian Council of Ministers and the Serbian government that he discussed this issue with Vucic.

The two officials agree that closing European borders to migrants could affect the situation in the region and raise tensions, but they are confident that armed conflicts are out of the question.

Vujcic said Chancellor Merkel’s intentions were good and her warning was in fact her wish that something like this did not happen.

He said the events in Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and the resignation of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponte were reasons for concern.

“The situation is not pretty in political terms,” Vucic said, adding that Serbia was not panicking over the migrant situation.

“This general whining has become a behaviour model both in Europe and the Balkans, but we understood Mrs Merkel’s words in the best possible way and we will do what needs to be done to prevent this,” Vucic said.

The two officials signed four protocols that are expected to boost Serbia-Bosnia cooperation in the search for people who went missing during the 1990s war, defence cooperation and exports of military equipment, telecommunications cooperation, environment protection and preservation of the Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge in Visegrad.

“This reflects both of our countries’ aspirations to strengthen and expand our good-neighbourly and regional cooperation in the Western Balkans,” Zvizdic told the joint news conference.

He announced that the two countries would soon launch talks on concrete projects such as a new railway line between Sarajevo and Belgrade and a better exchange of commodities and capital.

Vucic said the joint session was excellent, adding that Serbia can hardly have a more important partner than Bosnia and Herzegovina, adding that it would rationally fight for the sympathy of the people in Bosnia and for Bosnia. He also said he would invest efforts to have Bosnia become Serbia’s number one foreign trade partner.

Vucic recalled that in 2014 alone, the two countries’ trade was up 10% and that this trend was continuing, adding that the number of investors interested in investing in Serbia and Bosnia was increasing.

He also announced further cooperation with the Republika Srpska and the policy of respecting Bosnia and Herzegovina’s territorial integrity.

Vucic also told the press he would attend an investment conference in Srebrenica next week, where he would promote projects on behalf of Serbia and bring money.