(translation of statement made in French)
First of all, I should like to thank the High Representative for the statement he has just made and to state that we fully agree with his analysis of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I also welcome the presence of Mr. Špirić, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sweden will speak later on behalf of the European Union, and France naturally aligns itself with that statement. More than a year ago now, Bosnia and Herzegovina took an important step in signing a stabilization and association agreement, which confirmed its wish to join the European Union (EU). We had hoped then that positive momentum would result from that act to confirm a European perspective, but we see today with regret that political divisions still exist.
France remains optimistic. Last year’s Prud process opened the way to solutions. For now, the Butmir process initiated by the European Union and the United States is opening up some genuine prospects. The international community cannot take the place of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leaders and people in dealing with the country’s problems. It is up to them to demonstrate the political resolve necessary to arrive at compromises and to head towards the future. The international community, particularly the EU, is mobilized and continues to follow developments attentively. In this regard, we welcome the adoption of resolution 1895 (2009), which extends the mandate of the European Union military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUFOR) for another year. This is an essential contribution from the EU to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cause.
Today’s meeting could have been the opportunity to note some progress by announcing the closing of the Office of the High Representative and the arrival of a new phase, since the EU is ready to take on even more responsibility. But the five conditions and two objectives have still not been fulfilled, and I must thus reiterate the necessity for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s leaders to come an agreement on a compromise. This is within their grasp; it is up to them to assume their responsibilities, and the international community calls upon them to do so.