JULY 25 2012 21:38h
The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who on Wednesday arrived in Sarajevo for a two-day official visit, called on Bosnia and Herzegovina not to lag behind other European Union aspirants in the region, and pledged the UN assistance on that path.
This moment is of crucial importance as the region is moving towards the European Union. In a region with fast progress on the path towards the Euro-Atlantic institutions, and this requires unity, the visiting U.N. chief said in Sarajevo after he met Bosnia's three-man presidency.
He praised Bosnia for having made progress after large-scale war destruction.
Democratic change is difficult and challenging, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is opening a new important chapter with priorities being the Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development, Ban said.
The Bosnian presidency's current chairman, Bakir Izetbegovic, said that thanks to the UN support, Bosnia had managed to deal with the war destruction and make progress.
He, however, warned about mistakes having led to genocide which the Serb forces committed against Bosniaks in the enclave of Srebrenica in the summer 1995 when it was a UN safe haven. Izetbegovic recalled that in a report in 1999 the UN admitted its mistakes regarding Srebrenica.
Later on Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon will hold talks with other officials of the state government and representatives of the country's two entities.
On Thursday, he is due to visit Srebrenica and pay tribute to over 8,000 victims of the war atrocities in that eastern Bosnian area. (Hina)