Bosnia & Herzegovina

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio visits BiH

The President of the BiH Council of Ministers Zoran Tegeltija stated after his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy Luigi Di Maio in Sarajevo that the relations between the two countries are good, friendly and without any open issues.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Tegeltija said that economic relations between BiH and Italy are highly developed, and in the coming period they should work on improving cultural co-operation and economic relations.

He added that he shares with his interlocutor an almost identical view on EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, while both also agree that bilateral co-operation at the highest level is not very satisfactory.

“Problems related to vaccination and migration were discussed. “It turned out that the pharmaceutical companies did not respect the obligations arising from the vaccine procurement contracts either through the EU mechanism or through the COVAX mechanism, but we expect significantly larger deliveries in the second quarter,” Tegeltija stressed.

Minister Di Maio stated that the two countries are linked by deep and friendly ties, expressing his gratitude for the solidarity shown by BiH when Italy was going through very difficult moments due to the pandemic.

He said it was necessary to push vaccine procurement agencies to comply with contractual obligations to Italy and others.

“After today’s meeting, there is a clear need to continue work on developing the already excellent co-operation, especially economic one, as Italy is placed high on the list of BiH ‘s trading partners,” Di Maio added.

He also announced the strengthening of cultural co-operation with the opening of the Italian Cultural Institute in BiH in 2022.

Di Maio stressed Italy’s support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s efforts to join the EU, adding that he hoped all requirements would be met to gain candidate status.

During his two-day visit to BiH, Minister Di Maio also met with members of the BiH Presidency, the leaders of both houses of parliament, the High Representative of the international community and the EUFOR Commander.

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