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NATO HQ Sarajevo  /  News  /  2019  /  SACEUR visits Sarajevo, reaffirms commitment to BiH

 Jul 16 2019

SACEUR visits Sarajevo, reaffirms commitment to BiH

The NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod D. Wolters, reaffirmed NATO’s commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina during a visit to Sarajevo, July 16, 2019.

Wolters visited senior political and military leaders of BiH, including all members of the Presidency, Milorad Dodik, Šefik Džaferović and Željko Komšić, BiH Minister of Defense, Marina Pendeš, Deputy Chiefs of Defence Major General Gojko Knežević and Major General Ivica Jerkić, and commander of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, U.S. Brigadier General Marti J. Bissell.

 NHQSa is NATO’s enduring commitment to BiH, advising and assisting all BiH institutions on defense and security sector reform and NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) activities. Members of NHQSa’s NATO Advisory Team work with their counterparts to implement defense and security sector reforms and to build sustainable capacities to achieve the long-term objective of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. 

The Alliance has been committed to building long-term peace and stability in BiH since the early 1990s, when it started supporting the international community’s efforts to end the conflict in BiH.

“We’re very excited at NATO and at [Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe] to find ways to promote the mil-to-mil engagements that are currently ongoing between NATO and BiH,” said Wolters. “We’ve been very excited about the number of engagements that we’ve had in 2019, and we’re very excited about the engagements we’re going to have in 2020.”  

Wolters commended BiH on their defense reform efforts and PfP programs, which provides the framework for engagement between NATO and the country.

Additionally, Wolters acknowledged BiH’s active contribution and support to NATO led peace support operations since 2009, to include current Operation RESOLUTE SUPPORT in Afghanistan.
“Over 60 military members of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are currently serving in Afghanistan and protecting our partners,” said Wolters. “For nearly the past decade, Bosnia and Herzegovina has contributed patriots for that cause in Afghanistan … and we are deeply indebted for those contributions.”     

 In December, 2018, the Alliance invited BiH to submit an Annual National Program, which is a technical document outlining reforms priorities and goals and is an important next step in their partnership with NATO.

“We have seen promising and productive decisions made by BiH in the past few years,” said Bissell. “Our partnership with the country has flourished, as they continue to make great strides toward Euro-Atlantic integration … and while there is still work to be done, we hope to continue to build a strong and productive BiH-NATO relationship.”

Story by NHQSa Public Affairs        


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