NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Operations, Tom Goffus, welcomed the continued development of the Alliance’s relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina during a visit to Sarajevo on 29 and 30 August 2023.
Mr. Goffus met with representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the international community, including the Defence Minister, the Commander of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo, the Commander of the European Union’s Operation Althea, the High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU Special Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and ambassadors of NATO nations.
Mr Goffus said: “A stable and secure Bosnia and Herzegovina and a peaceful Western Balkans are of strategic interest for the Alliance. For many years, NATO has supported Bosnia and Herzegovina in developing its defence and security capacities, including through the efforts of NATO Headquarters Sarajevo. The Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina represent a successful example of a multi-ethnic institution. NATO strongly supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace, and stands fully committed to continue its partnership with Bosnia and Herzegovina. NATO will continue this important work through a wide range of partnership tools, including the Defence and Capacity Building Initiative, to help Bosnia and Herzegovina advance its reform efforts and strengthen its resilience against malign interference, for the benefit of all of its citizens.”
He added: “We encourage the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina to take full advantage of NATO’s support to its reform efforts and to submit its 2023 Reform Programme, without prejudice to a final decision on NATO membership. This is key to stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina and across the Western Balkans.”
“NATO fully supports the important role of the EU-led Operation Althea, and is committed to continue supporting it through the Berlin Plus Arrangements,” Mr Goffus also said.