While waiting for an agreement on defense property…
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In cooperation with the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to complete its first Annual National Plan (ANP) within the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP), by the end of this month. The member of the NATO Coordination Team of the BiH Council of Ministers, Ambassador Fuad Šabeta, announces that a ANP draft will be submitted to the NATO HQ in Brussels by the end of June.
At the NATO Ministerial meeting in Tallinn, held from April 22nd to April 23rd 2010, it was decided that BiH would be conditionally accepted in MAP. The first ANP, representing the formal cooperation between BiH and NATO within the Membership Action Plan, would be accepted only when BiH completes registration of the immovable perspective defense property as state property to be used by the BiH Ministry of Defense.
In the meantime, on June 3rd, the BiH Council of Ministers entrusted its Coordination Team with creating the ANP. At the extraordinary session held on June 10th, the Team, chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister, Ana Trišić-Babić, decided that ANP Draft should be finished by the end of June.
“Having in mind the cooperation with NATO, a failure to solve the issue of the immovable perspective defense property by September this year, would result in a significant delay of the Euro-Atlantic integration for BiH, which obviously would not help us,” said Šabeta, who is also the Head of the Department for Peace and Security in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “If this issue is not solved by September, BiH will probably have to start its second biannual cycle of the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP).”
“The decision of the foreign ministers of the NATO member countries in Tallinn encourages all involved in this process. I am an optimist that, in accordance with the conclusion of the BiH Presidency made on May 20th, 2010, all authorized institutions will make additional efforts to meet the condition and achieve the agreement on defense property,” said Šabeta.
“In that context, the Coordination Team will continue its regular activities, including preparation of the IPAP and ANP drafts. The draft activity program for the second IPAP cycle has already been completed, and we have started drafting the first ANP. With this dynamics, we expect the ANP Draft to be sent to the NATO HQ Brussels in June for their opinion and suggestions,” said Šabeta.
Upon the decision of the BiH Council of Ministers of September 13th 2007, a coordination team for NATO Membership was established, i.e. the NATO Coordination Team of the BiH Council of Ministers (NCT). Its tasks include coordination and supervision of all inter-departmental activities of the BiH ministries and institutions, in the process of implementation of the state’s obligations resulting from participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP), as well as regarding the accession to the NATO full membership. NCT consists of representatives of all ministries and agencies at the state level.
In the meantime, due to complexity of the mentioned obligations, the defined time dynamics for their implementation, as well as the need for a quick reaction in that respect, the NCT scope of work has significantly expanded from its original role, directly engaging in the implementation of the BiH’s obligation resulting from PfP, instead of immediate monitoring and coordination only.
“The BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs took the leading role in the NATO Coordination Team led by Deputy Foreign Minister Ana Trišić-Babić, which made this Ministry the leader of the NATO integration process. This decision, made by the BiH state bodies, reaffirms our understanding that the Euro-Atlantic process is not referred only to defense reform, but it is rather integration with an important political dimension as well,” Šabeta believes.
“In that context, the NCT will cooperate with the NATO HQ in Sarajevo and the Norwegian Embassy as NATO Contact Embassy, with an intention to better inform BiH citizens about advantages of the accession to NATO. At the meeting of BiH representatives with the North Atlantic Council (NAC), which is scheduled to be held in Brussels on July 14, the first biannual IPAP cycle is expected to be evaluated. IPAP activities were implemented in 2008 and 2009, as a form of cooperation with NATO which preceded MAP. We expect the NAC to give a positive evaluation of the first IPAP cycle and to provide guidelines for further work,” pointed out Ambassador Fuad Šabeta.
Text: Aner ZUKOVIĆ
Photo: MFA BiH
(PHOTO: Fuad Šabeta, first on the right, with Ana Trišić-Babić and Zoran Šajinović from the BiH Ministry of Defense, at a NCT meeting)