JULY 23 2012 17:29h

NATO official meets Bosnian PM

Sarajevo

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 Full membership of NATO is Bosnia and Herzegovina's strategic objective, the chairman of the Bosnian Council of Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda said in Sarajevo on Friday after talks with NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow.

Vershbow also held talks with members of the Bosnian collective presidency.

According to a statement issued after the Bevanda-Vershbow meeting, the Bosnian prime minister told the NATO official that membership of the alliance would be a guarantee for the political and economic stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bevanda said that NATO membership would contribute to the further strengthening of stability in the region.

Bosnia is still only a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme but its soldiers are taking part in NATO military operations, such as the one in Afghanistan.

NATO has granted Bosnia its Membership Action Plan (MAP) on condition that it first resolves the status of immovables which Bosnian armed forces need for its functioning (barracks, military warehouses and training grounds previously owned by the former Yugoslav People's Army).

Bevanda and Vershbow addressed this issue.

Vershbow said Bosnia's NATO admission was of vital importance for the stability of the country and the region. He said NATO expected Bosnia to resolve the issue of military immovables as soon as possible so that MAP could be activated.

(Hina)