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Mission of Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, to Bosnia-Herzegovina (10 March 2023)

Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, will be in Sarajevo tomorrow, 10 March 2023, for a joint mission with the Austrian Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Alexander Schallenberg.

The agenda includes meetings with the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina (a collegial body composed of three members: Željka Cvijanović, Denis Bećirović and Željko Komšić), the President of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Council of Ministers, Borjana Krišto, and the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elmedin Konaković.

Deputy Prime Minister Tajani and Minister Schallenberg will also visit Camp Butmir, the headquarters of Operation EUFOR Althea, for a meeting with the Commander of the International Force, Major General Helmut Habermayer, and the Italian national contingent.

With this mission, the Italian Government wants to show Italy’s strong support to the European perspective of Bosnia-Herzegovina after the granting of the status of EU candidate country in December, as well as its commitment to strengthening cooperation with a country that is key to the stability of the region, as also demonstrated by Italy’s important contribution to Operation EUFOR Althea, which operates in the country under a United Nations mandate.

“The granting of the status of candidate country to Bosnia-Herzegovina is a strategically important result, which has been achieved also thanks to the unwavering commitment of the Italian Government,” commented Deputy Prime Minister Tajani. “The war in Ukraine has given a new meaning to the enlargement of the European Union to the Western Balkans. It is an investment in peace, security and stability for our country.”

“The strengthening of cooperation between Italy and the Western Balkans,” added Tajani, “is an absolute priority of the Italian government. The relaunch of our role in the area began with the mission I went on, together with Minister Crosetto, to Belgrade and Pristina, which was followed by the National Conference “Italy and the Western Balkans: Growth and Integration”, held in Trieste on 24 January. On 21 March, we will be in Belgrade for the first Italian-Serbian “Business & Science Forum”, followed by a meeting in Rome with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Balkans.”