Zagreb, 30 July 2021 (Hina/MIA) – German diplomat Christian Schmidt, who is expected to step into the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina next week, said that Bosnia and Herzegovina has been backsliding over the past ten years, underlining that this must be changed and that the international community must take an active role in this process.
In an interview with Deutsche Welle (DW), released on Friday, Schmidt said that during his term as High Representative he would act as a politician and not as a diplomat, underlining that his messages would be clear.
He said that any idea about changing the borders in the region was unacceptable, alluding to secession aspirations of the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska.
Speaking about the guidelines for his work as the High Representative, Schmidt underlined the need to set up a functioning state and acknowledge the wishes and needs of young people who are considering leaving the country.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who is also a member of the state presidency, said earlier that the RS entity did not accept the appointment of the German diplomat to the post of the High Representative in BiH and that it would continue to insist that the Office of the High Representative be fully shut down.
Schmidt now indirectly told Dodik that he would have to face the fact that he was coming as the new High Representative with stronger powers and clear support of the government in Berlin. He said that already in the coming days the Office of the High Representative would start implementing the strategy aimed at improving the situation in the region.
Schmidt also noted that he was not arriving in Bosnia to represent anyone’s interests, stressing that all ethnic groups would benefit from his work.
Commenting on disputes about amendments to the election legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Schmidt said that ethnic criteria must not be the most important criteria in the process of amending the legislation.