The Chairman of Bosnia's three-member state Presidency and Serb Presidency member, Milorad Dodik, confirmed on Thursday he would ask that the country's current ambassadors and consuls-general of Serb ethnic background be recalled, and that he would propose new candidates for those posts who, he said, respected the interests of Bosnia’s Serb entity.
Dodik, the leader of Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SDSS), the strongest nationalist party in the Republika Srpska entity (RS), made the announcement after he had reached agreement on the matter with Republika Srpska entity (RS) President Zeljka Cvijanovic, saying that this referred to posts in 16 countries.
"We plan to dismiss all Serb ambassadors and elect new ones instead. We’ve had no use of these people; not once have they consulted the RS on any issue," Dodik said. "Not even the ones in countries with which the RS had built good relations, like Israel, ever consulted us. They will be dismissed immediately."
He said they would be replaced with diplomats loyal to the RS’ interests.
Even though, under the Dayton peace agreement, foreign policy is exclusively within the remit of state authorities and is defined by the state Presidency, the only institution authorised to appoint ambassadors and consuls, Dodik has said that this must be done exclusively with the consent of the Serb entity authorities.
Bosnia’s Presidency consists of three members, coming from three constituent peoples, Bosniaks Serbs and Croats. The Bosniak and Croat members are elected from the FBiH entity, while the Serb member comes from the RS.
Dodik said that, as a Presidency member, he would primarily represent the interests of the Serb entity and that he wanted to introduce a new approach in state authority, one that would include the entities in the decision-making process.
The international community's High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valentin Inzko, on Wednesday warned that the country's foreign policy, including decisions on its association with alliances such as NATO, cannot be made by the entities but by the state, as clearly defined by the Dayton agreement.