Bosnia Presidency members, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic, met with the international community’s High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt in Bled, Slovenia, where they are attending the 16th Bled Strategic Forum.
Speaking to N1, Komsic confirmed they spoke about the situation in which the third Presidency member, Milorad Dodik, is blocking the work of the Presidency, which Komsic assessed as “insane and tragicomic.”
“This is a well-thought-out plan and everything Dodik is saying is aimed at discouraging the international community, i.e. that the international community gives up on the guarantee it gave through the Dayton Agreement and the guarantee that exist in a normal democratic world – where the states are not being divided and torn apart,” said Komsic.
Dodik, who is the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency, announced a boycott of the decision-making process at the state level after now former international envoy Valentin Inzko, Schmidt’s predecessor, imposed a law on genocide denial ban.
The Serb Presidency member is the strong opponent of the Office of the High Representative, which was installed in 1995 to oversee the peace implementation following the 1992-95 Bosnian war. The Dayton Agreement which put an end to the conflict also introduced the country’s constitutional system and it assigned the High Representative with special powers to impose laws and dismiss officials.
After Schmidt took office on August 2, replacing Inzko after a nearly 12-year term, Dodik and the rest of Bosnian Serb leadership said they do not recognise him as a legitimate High Representative.
Dodik even refused to attend the Bled forum, partly due to Schmidt’s presence there.
Briefly commenting on the issue during a panel discussion in Bled, the High Representative said that ”blocking is not the way of politics” but that it means “not being strong.”
“We’re sitting and exchanging arguments and trying to come to solution and development, so they have to be invited all,” Schmidt said.
According to Komsic, Dzaferovic and he told the High Representatives on the sidelines of the Bled forum that Dodik is trying to make the international community give up on BiH.
“Democratic world cannot allow itself to see again what it was watching during the fall of Yugoslavia. Now it is certain it would be a larger conflict because there is more of the stronger players and it would affect a part of Europe. Nobody will play with that,” Komsic stressed.
Asked if Dodik’s dismissal is a possibility, he replied that this was not a topic of the talks.
“But there will certainly be the line that cannot be crossed in terms of destructive behaviour,” said Komsic, currently the Chairman of the rotating Presidency.