Bosniak Leader: Pelješac Bridge Jeopardizes Bosnia’s Sovereignty

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

ZAGREB, July 30, 2018 – The Bosniak member and incumbent chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency Bakir Izetbegović on Monday described the start of construction works on the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia as a “flagrant violation of the sovereignty” of his country and announced that relevant steps would be taken before international institutions.

Izetbegović issued a press release underscoring that, with the construction of the bridge, Croatia was ignoring the fact that Bosnia’s authorities were opposed to the project, violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and jeopardising Bosnia’s right to access high seas.

He accused Croatia of avoiding for 12 years to reach an agreement concerning demarcation with Bosnia which, according to him, should have preceded Croatia’s exercise of the right to connect its territory.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina does not deny Croatia’s rights. All we are asking is that our rights guaranteed by the UN Convention are respected,” Izetbegović said, recalling that in 2007 Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Presidency adopted a special conclusion asking Croatia to stop construction of the bridge until demarcation in the sea was settled, including Bosnia’s access to the high seas.

Izetbegović claims that Bosnia and Herzegovina’s stance was united and clear, that nothing had changed since its adoption, and that Croatia and the European Commission have been informed of this time and again. He further claims that, when Croatia applied for the project for European co-funding, it incorrectly informed the European Commission that there were no disputes regarding this project.

He noted that on 29 September 2017, Marc Lemaitre, chief of cabinet for the European Commissioner for budget and financial programming, had written to the state secretary in Croatia’s Regional and Development and EU Funds Ministry Spomenka Đurić calling on Croatia to resolve outstanding issues with Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the Pelješac Bridge and in the meantime to refrain from undertaking any activities that could lead to any legal or financial obligations for the EU due to litigation with third parties. “Croatia did not respond to that letter in a satisfactory manner,” Izetbegović claimed.

He explained that now Bosnia will have to protect its rights before international institutions and that the protection of Bosnia’s sovereign rights does not concern one man or one nation but is a constitutional and legal obligation of all its authorities. As such, they are obliged to undertake the measures necessary to protect Bosnia’s rights, “regardless of that fact that there is clear obstruction in those institutions by those for whom, unfortunately, Croatia’s interests are above the interests of their own country,” he said.

Izetbegović was obviously referring to messages by Bosnian Croat government officials that they don’t see anything contentious in the construction of the Pelješac Bridge and that they will not allow unilateral measures by Bosniak parties.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment