G7 Western Balkans statement: BiH territory will not be undermined

Ministers attend the start of a plenary session on day two of the G-7 foreign and development ministers meeting at Lancaster House in London, 05 May 2021. [EPA-EFE/HOLLIE ADAMS / POOL]

Following their meeting in London, the G7 leaders have issued a statement on the Western Balkans, stating that “unwarranted speculation about border changes along ethnic lines is no solution to the challenges faced by the region.”

“Such changes would constitute a threat to regional security. We firmly reject any attempt to undermine the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” the statement added.

The leaders went on to urge all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement electoral and limited constitutional reforms, along with European Court of Human Rights judgments. The statement also appealed to the country to work closely with the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Venice Commission to “move closer to realising its democratic aspirations.” 

Stating their support for the Balkans region, the G7 said: “We reaffirm our shared commitment to the security, economic recovery and European perspective of the six Western Balkans countries as a crucial investment for peace and stability. We emphasise the importance of advancing the necessary internal reforms, in particular on rule of law, including tackling organised crime, illicit finance and corruption, with tough action taken against the most egregious cases.” 

The statement also showed support for the Balkans EU accession process, welcoming the formal start of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia, and urged Kosovo and Serbia to make moves to normalise relations. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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