Alicia Kearns, the British Parliament member, said announcing the Thursday debate on Bosnia and Herzegovina that stability in the country is at its “most fragile since the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords of 1995.”
The discussion has been tabled by Kearns, the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for BiH.
“The wounds of the only European genocide since the Second World War have yet to heal, and are being ripped open by Milorad Dodik, backed by Putin and China as he fans the flames of Serb nationalism. Nothing good will come from his threats, and the time for diplomacy to walk back from division, hatred and secession, is now,” she said prior to the session.
“The UK has a proud history in helping to end the war in Bosnia and this debate is an important opportunity for all of us in Parliament to stand united, in shared resolve, that we will work to ensure the UK Government, alongside our NATO allies, does everything we can to uphold peace in the Balkans,” she added.
The debate comes on the day that Christian Schmidt, the United Nation’s High Representative in Bosnia, will visit the UK Parliament.
Bosnian ambassador to the UK, Vanja Filipovic, welcomed the fact that NATO foreign ministers and the UK Parliament are discussing the situation in BiH and recognising its “seriousness and potential to incite violence.”
“NATO has invested heavily in peace, security and development of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and must not allow huge progress to be overturned due to reckless, divisive politics and malign outside influences,” he stressed.
MP Bob Stewart and former British Commander of the UN forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina commented on this ocassion that the Parliament will hopefully recognise “the gravity of the situation and take steps to uophold the peace we fought so hard to achieve.”
“I note that while the Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats would probably be happy to divide the country into two, that would leave the 1.5 million Bosniak Muslims homeless,” he stressed.