Bosnia & Herzegovina

US backs new High Representative in BiH

US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric Nelson said Tuesday that the United States supports the appointment and vital role of the Office of the High Representative in “facilitating the implementation of the Dayton Peace Accords” – the agreement that ended the 1992-95 war.

Nelson discussed the appointment of German envoy Christian Schmidt as the new High Representative to the country with BiH Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik. Dodik and other senior Republika Srpska officials previously expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment of German politician Christian Schmidt to the post of High Representative of the new international community.

“We urge political leaders to focus on the reforms needed to further BiH’s European path, improve the economy and lead to BiH graduating from international oversight. Disruptive rhetoric only serves to slow the progress that will benefit.” all citizens of BiH, “the US Embassy said after the meeting.

The Peace Implementation Council formally appointed Christian Schmidt on 27 May and he will take up his duties as head of the Office of the High Representative (OHR) from 1 August this year. Schmidt will replace Austrian diplomat Valentin Inzko, who has been in that position for the past 12 years.

Dodik said the PIC did not have the power to appoint the official and that this was done in a “suspicious” way. He also advocates the closure of the Office of the High Representative in BiH.

“The person they are supposed to have appointed as their High Representative will not be acceptable and Republika Srpska will not accept him or any of his powers,” Dodik said, urging the public to reject Schmidt’s appointment as well.

Dodik and other Republika Srpska political leaders will meet tomorrow in Belgrade with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to discuss Schmidt’s appointment. Dodik claims that the PIC Steering Board has no right to appoint anyone to this post because, under the Dayton Peace Agreement, this is the exclusive right of the UN Security Council.

Leaders of the opposition PDP and SDS parties Branislav Borenović and Mirko ovarović confirmed that they would attend the meeting.

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