Croatia and Bosnia Discuss Security Cooperation and Migrant Crisis

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Croatian Interior Minister Orepić visited Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić and Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Mektić announced in Sarajevo that they would strengthen cooperation in the fight against organized crime, terrorism and preventing illegal migrations, adding that it was time to develop relations between the two countries in the security field on new foundations, reports N1 on February 3, 2017.

“I feel the need to say something publicly: I love Bosnia and Herzegovina! That is why I came to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital in order to establish with my colleague a form of cooperation that will increase security”, said Orepić at the beginning. He added that strengthening of security was a common challenge important for the lives of people in both countries. “This is about solving problems and a large array of security challenges”, said Orepić, adding that police forces in both countries would be “very busy”.

He said that the migrant crisis and human trafficking in particular were a common challenge and stressed that it was a big task for Croatia to secure its border according to European standards.

Orepić and Mektić commented on the problem of terrorism, saying that this was an issue that was common to the entire region. Bosnian minister said that they had agreed to establish a bilateral legal framework for the exchange of intelligence relating to terrorism. At the same time, where appropriate, the two countries could form joint teams in order to eliminate terrorist threats.

Mektić said he was extremely pleased with the talks with Orepić because the conditions had been created to “make a turning point” and initiate new relations between the two countries, especially in the security sector. “Security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in addition to everything it has to do itself, extremely depends on relations with neighbouring countries, Croatia and Serbia”, said Mektić. He warned that the political and security situation in Bosnia could easily be destabilized if there are inappropriate decisions made in neighbouring countries.

Mektić warned that it was not certain that the refugee crisis would not escalate again, so it is essential that Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina prepare a common response to this challenge. “We have talked how to jointly create defence mechanisms and jointly act in case of a new migration crisis”, said Mektić, adding that Serbia should also be involved in this effort. This would also include enhanced border protection against terrorism and crime, such as human trafficking.


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