Dendias in Sarajevo: It is important Bosnia-Herzegovina aligns with EU on the East Mediterranean

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Bosnian counterpart Turković.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Friday and promised, among other things, to assist in their path towards European Union membership.

In speaking with his Bosnian counterpart Bisera Turković, Dendias said “we had the opportunity to address ways of further enhancing our important bilateral cooperation in all fields, starting with political dialogue.”

Dendias emphasised that Greece and BiH said today’s meeting was about boosting economic cooperation and cultural exchanges.

“In this regard, it is a particular pleasure for me to underline that courses of Modern Greek are being taught in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. I hope that when conditions allow, the teaching will resume of course with the physical presence of all students,” he said.

The Greek Foreign Minister announced that his country will support the Abdullah Nakas hospital in Sarajevo with €50,000, the University Clinical Centre in the Serbian-dominated entity of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka with the same amount.

€30,000 was also allocated to the University Clinical Centre of Mostar.

Dendias also emphasised that Greece has a “firm commitment to the integration of the Western Balkan countries in the European Union.”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Bosnian counterpart Turković.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Bosnian counterpart Turković on January 29, 2021.

“In a few years, we could envisage a Union, in which at least one quarter of its Members will be Balkan countries. Something that would have been unimaginable just thirty years ago,” the Greek diplomat continued.

“We therefore hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina will take the necessary steps that will help in bringing the country closer to the EU,” he said, adding that his trip was “in order to submit proposals regarding technical assistance” to implement EU policies.

Dendias also took the opportunity to refer to Turkish delinquency in the East Mediterranean.

“Allow me also to underline the importance we attach to the need for Bosnia and Herzegovina to align itself with EU Positions and Decisions,” the head of Greek diplomacy said. “And notably those regarding the Eastern Mediterranean.”

“We value our cooperation in the context of the Regional Cooperation Council, which has its Headquarters right here in Sarajevo,” Dendias said.

“We also look forward to further enhance this cooperation during the upcoming Greek chairmanship of the South-East European Cooperation Process starting this July,” the continued.

Dendias: Greece committed to EU prospects of western Balkans | News | ekathimerini.com
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Bosnian counterpart Turković on January 29, 2021.

“In conclusion, let me highlight the importance of promoting good neighbourly relations on the solid foundation of International Law,” Dendias emphasised.

“This has been Greece’s position for decades and I have to say that we are happy to see that most- unfortunately not all, but most- of the countries of the broader region espouse the same fundamental principles,” he stressed.

“Likely, Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina are on the same page on this,” he added, before inviting Turković to visit Athens.