Cardin Statement on Meeting with Republika Srpksa Delegation

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) released the following statement regarding a Tuesday meeting with a delegation from Republika Srpksa (one of two entities that comprise Bosnia-Herzegovina):

“While I welcomed the opportunity to engage a visiting delegation from Republika Srpska on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was dismayed to learn that the contents of our discussion were inaccurately summarized on a Republika Srpska Government website.  Given how frequently I raised the issue of constitutional reform in the meeting, it is disappointing to learn that there is no reference to constitutional reform in the summary.  Everyone, of course, looks forward to the day when the Office of High Representative can be closed, but only in the context of meeting the five objectives and two conditions stipulated by the Peace Implementation Council, which, in my view, includes constitutional reform.

“Constitutional reform is essential to creating a functional Bosnian state, and Bosnia’s domestic political leaders need to find agreement on what this reform entails.  This is the essence of what I said to the visiting delegation, with the additional expression of hope that the United States remains actively engaged in the effort since it has already invested so much diplomacy and resources in Bosnia during the last 15 years.  If, and only if, the Government of Republika Srpksa shares this view that constitutional reform is key to Bosnia’s progress can they claim I support its position.”

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