News / Europe

Clinton, Ashton: Bosnia Must Make Reforms to Join NATO, EU

Foreign Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina, Zlatko Lagumdzija  (l) greets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Sarajevo Airport, Oct. 29, 2012. Foreign Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina, Zlatko Lagumdzija (l) greets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Sarajevo Airport, Oct. 29, 2012.
x
Foreign Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina, Zlatko Lagumdzija  (l) greets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Sarajevo Airport, Oct. 29, 2012.
Foreign Minister of Bosnia Herzegovina, Zlatko Lagumdzija (l) greets US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upon her arrival at the Sarajevo Airport, Oct. 29, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton have told Bosnian leaders they must put aside divisions and make substantive reforms to advance toward membership in NATO and the European Union.

Clinton said last month's local government elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina showed the strength of people's commitment to their future. It is a strength that she said must be matched by their politicians.

"We are here today to urge that all of the leaders of this country find common ground and act in the interest of the people," said Clinton.

She said key reforms have not been made and political party differences stand in the way of shared progress.

"Now as I know very well coming from a political background in the United States, political compromise is rarely easy, but it is absolutely necessary," said Clinton.

Seventeen years after the end of fighting here, Bosnian leaders have still not fully implemented the Dayton Accords that ended the war. U.S. officials say there remain long-standing issues of governance, accountability, budgeting and ownership of state property.

EU representative Ashton said Europeans want to see a united, stable, prosperous and multi-ethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina that takes its rightful place in the European and trans-Atlantic community. But making that future real requires action.

"It is important to look beyond the domestic divisions, the political rivalries and the vested interests. Otherwise, this country risks being left behind by other countries in the region who are making strong progress toward the European Union," said Ashton.

Bakir Izetbegovic is the chairman of Bosnia-Herzegovina's three-man presidency. He said pursuing a NATO and EU future means overcoming narrow interests of nationalism. He spoke in Sarajevo through a translator.

"This rhetoric leads us backwards. It is retrograde. The European Union and the United States of America will support exclusively a unified Bosnia-Herzegovina. They want to talk only to one address here, to one voice here in Bosnia-Herzegovina," said Izetbegovic.

If Bosnian leaders can put in place specific reforms by November, Clinton promised to ask NATO ministers in December to make Bosnia part of NATO's Membership Action Plan of advice, assistance and practical support to join the alliance.

You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid