James Sunderland urges Ministerial visit to Sarajevo following threats to withdraw Republika Srpska from some state-level institutions

Following the Government statement on Bosnia and Herzegovina and the potential of a renewed conflict in the Western Balkans, James Sunderland emphasizes that, as signatories to the Dayton agreement, the UK is part of the solution and calls for a Ministerial visit to Sarajevo.

James Sunderland (Bracknell) (Con)

As a Bosnia veteran, I am very familiar with that country. I went there recently and I know for a fact that fears about security are justified. Britain signed the Dayton agreement in 1995, so we are part of the solution. Is it perhaps time for another ministerial visit to Sarajevo?

James Cleverly (The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa)

My hon. and gallant Friend makes an important point about the need for visible support for the institutions that have helped to keep the peace for such a long time. As I said, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills, went to the region recently. I am not in a position to commit to exactly when a future ministerial visit will be, but the Foreign Secretary will bring this up at the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Riga in the near future. I have no doubt that it will be the location for a ministerial visit in the not-too-distant future.