Šarec: Slovenia strongly supports BiH on its Euro-Atlantic path

Minister of Defense of the Republic of Slovenia, Marjan Šarec, said today in Sarajevo that Slovenia strongly supports Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

”We welcome the friendly relations between Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are united by the same values and traditionally friendly relations,” pointed out Šarec, after meeting with BiH Defense Minister Zukan Helez and his deputies – Slaven Galić and Aleksandar Goganović.

He said Slovenia remains fully committed to the EUFOR/Althea mission, underlining that they consider it a key element of security and stabilization in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

”We particularly welcome the recent extension of the EUFOR mandate by the UN Security Council. As one of the participating countries in the EUFOR/Althea operation, we appreciate NATO’s support for this operation within the framework of the ‘Berlin Plus’ agreement,” said Šarec.

In this context, he assessed that security challenges can best be solved by building strong relationships and partnerships, as well as working together and sharing common values.

He previously expressed his gratitude for, as he said, the exceptional help that Bosnia and Herzegovina provided to Slovenia in August when that country faced the biggest floods in its history.

He also reminded of other projects, which are implemented in partnership with BiH Armed Forces, including development projects that Slovenia is implementing in several municipalities in BiH, with the aim of better preparing local communities for successful participation in European and other international projects.

When it comes to civil-military cooperation, Minister Šarec announced the implementation of new projects that will be aligned with specific local needs.

Minister of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zukan Helez also pointed to the extremely good relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, emphasizing that it is a strong partnership without open questions.

”Slovenia is our partner on the Euro-Atlantic path and one of the strongest advocates of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the European Union,” said Helez.

He stated that the meeting was an opportunity to exchange opinions on numerous topics, reminding that Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina continuously cooperate, which, among other things, is evidenced by the annual bilateral cooperation plans.

”In 2023, we had a total of 16 projects, eight of which were implemented in Slovenia and the same number in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Minister Helez.

He also reminded that the relations between the two countries are characterized by mutual help and support, illustrating this with examples from 2014, when Slovenia was one of the most active countries in assisting in the great floods in BiH, as well as the engagement of the BiH AF unit in eliminating the consequences of the floods that hit Slovenia in August.