STA, April 19, 2021 – Prime Minister Janez Janša condemned extremism after members of a radical Islamist group in Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated outside the Slovenian embassy in Sarajevo on Sunday against an alleged non-paper related to Slovenia which talks about the break-up of Bosnia along ethnic lines.
“Slovenian extremists and others who wreak havoc are only wreaking havoc,” he said on Twitter after noting that Slovenia stopped dealing with the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, when it became independent.
“We wish peace, progress and the prospect of the EU to the countries remaining in its territory,” he said on Sunday evening in response to news of the protests.
Media reports suggest a few dozen members of the Religion, Nation, Country movement (Vera, Narod, Država), formed by a radical religious, gathered in front of the Embassy of Slovenia in Sarajevo chanting “Bosnia”.
The rally came in the wake of several media reports suggesting that Slovenia had released a non-paper in the EU on the redistribution of borders in the former Yugoslavia.
In discussions with a member of the Bosnian Presidency on Friday, Janša said there was no unofficial paper containing border changes or efforts to undermine the territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina that could be linked to the Slovenian government.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama confirmed the existence of a non-paper during a television appearance on Saturday. Although he did not say that this non-paper was drafted by Slovenia, he did say that he discussed it with Janša some time ago.
“I saw the document and discussed it … with the Slovenian Prime Minister,” he said, adding that he would not comment on it.
Responding to Rama’s statement, Janša tweeted that “we have not discussed any map of a divided Bosnia, neither with the Albanian Prime Minister nor with anyone else”.
“The last time I saw a map of a divided BiH was during a visit to the Pentagon in 1993, while we were looking for solutions to end the armed conflict.”
Foreign Minister Anže Logar also commented on Rama’s statement as he addressed the press after today’s EU foreign ministers online meeting, advising journalists to read it again. carefully; he said that Rama’s words were better captioned or translated on commercial broadcaster POP TV than on public broadcaster RTV Slovenija.
What Rama said was just that he had discussed the Western Balkans issue with Janša, which makes sense, Logar said, adding that relaunching a debate on the alleged non-paper did not benefit. neither to Bosnia and Herzegovina nor to Slovenia. The debate is in fact “very bad for Slovenia”.
“In this regard, everyone should see for themselves what is more in their best interests – engage in political propaganda or do their best to ensure that Slovenia properly fulfills its EU Presidency and achieves progress in the area of the Western Balkans. “
He thinks those who engage in “spreading untruths and half-truths” should ask themselves what consequences this might have. He referred to the Sarajevo protest, which brought together extremists, as groups calling for a boycott of Slovenian goods are emerging online.
The minister said that Prime Minister Janša and President Borut Pahor denied the existence of such a document, so he had nothing to add to it.
However, he avoided responding directly to the question on Slovenia’s positions on border changes in the Western Balkans when asked whether Slovenia agreed with the solutions contained in the so-called non-paper.
He said Slovenia’s position is very clear: it wants to do everything in its power to progress towards the EU as quickly as possible provided that the countries of the Western Balkans meet the membership criteria. As part of its EU Presidency, Slovenia also wishes to stress the strategic importance of the region’s integration into the EU.
Regarding the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue, Logar said that the five EU members that have yet to recognize Kosovo have made it clear that a solution that both sides agree to would mean elimination. of the reason for the non-recognition. Logar has said he is no longer interested in speculating, leaving diplomacy to do its job.
He said any statement would be premature and could undermine dialogue between the two entities, but praised the fact that Kosovo and Serbia had strong governments, while adding that no progress could be made without the consent of the states. United and EU.
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