In a very short while since the last time such an event was held, the governments of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska met in a joint session in Belgrade to discuss their cooperation and sign several important agreements. Sessions like this one are foreseen by the article in the Dayton peace agreement, which said that BiH entities have the right to establish “special relations” with other countries.
After the Friday session, Ministers of Serbia and RS signed four agreements of cooperation in the fields of aviation, quality of infrastructure, culture and education, as well as in the field of postal traffic and telecommunications.
Serbian PM, Ana Brnabic, speaking to the media said that Serbia wants to maintain a special relation with RS and that the cooperation between Serbia and RS is really significant.
“I would like to thank the RS Government, that we welcomed to our Serbia today and held the 8th joint session of the governments. We were long preparing for this session, because it is not only a thing of the protocol. It was very concrete, with specific projects and suggestions on which we are working on right now and will be working in the future,” said Brnabic at a joint press conference with RS PM, Zeljka Cvijanovic.
Brnabic added that the Ljubovija-Bratunac border bridge over the Drina river is a very important project and that its inauguaration is in the interest of both sides.
She also said that the RS had done everything in the best manner and announced that this issue would be a topic at a joint session of the BiH Council of Ministers, which is being prepared.
“We will certainly appeal, once again, to finish it as soon as possible, and if it is impossible to end it soon, a temporary border crossing may be required so that the bridge starts being used,” Brnabić told reporters.
RS PM Cvijanovic expressed her satisfaction with the results since, about 30 conclusions have been adopted, among which the Action Plan for Development of Podrinje region, on the border between BiH and Serbia, which has been outlined. She has pointed out that cooperation in the fields of tourism, infrastructure, transport, economy, water management and forestry is planned for the Podrinje region. According to her, the new action plan for the development of Podrinje is a strategically important project for both countries in the field of water management, especially from the perspective of the municipalities that tend to gravitate towards the Drina River. Cvijanovic also expressed her gratitude to Serbia for providing concrete financial support to municipalities in RS in the past period, but also in the municipalities in the Federation BiH where Serbs live.
She also emphasised that there is no political influence of Belgrade to the RS institutions in case of a referendum on the judiciary system in BiH, which was suspended in the RS’s National Assembly earlier this week.
“It was an autonomous decision of the RS institution. There is no influence between Belgrade and Banja Luka, there is just good cooperation”, said Cvijanovic.
The two PMs also met with the president of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the RS president, Milorad Dodik. At the joint session, it was concluded that the cooperation between Serbia and RS shows the positive results (that come out of such joint actions) and that all tasks agreed on earlier are now over.
Dodik stated that Serbia is an indispensable factor of stability in the region, and that the RS is ready to follow and support the efforts to maintain it.
Moreover, he said that one of the issues on the agenda was the Declaration of the survival of the Serbian people, explaining that the draft of this document had been completed, and that the joint commissions of Serbia and the RS should agree on details only.
“After that, the conditions will be fulfilled, and the Declaration will be sent to the parliaments. The aim is to finish this with the ongoing month,” added Dodik.
He stressed that during the meeting, the demarcation of BiH and Serbia was discussed, and that RS and Serbia had an identical view on the issue.
“We do not see this as a firm state border, but a formal line that needs to be harmonized, keeping international standards in mind. In any case, the proposals in order to make the most of and achieve the best for both sides are definitely on both our daily agendas,” said Dodik.
He explained that the controversial points and places of demarcation are determined by the commission and that there is nothing disputable on the RS’s side…/IBNA