World Bulletin / News Desk
Despite recent claims by analysts that the state in Bosnia and Herzegovina would collapse with decreased US presence, Balkans expert and John Hopkins University professor Daniel Serwer told AA that America would never allow the country to collapse.
"Washington won't let Bosnia come apart. But deeper integration depends on the Bosnians themselves," said Serwer, stressing that the US expects more EU engagement in the country.
"Washington regards Bosnia and Herzegovina as primarily the EU's responsibility now. It also welcomes Turkish interest in Bosnia. The question of Bosnia's sovereignty and territorial integrity is still one Washington would get concerned about, if it were threatened."
Bosnian politicians have not been able to agree on a common future for the country and necessary reforms regarding the country's constitution. On whether the US will intervene in a diplomatic sense and impose changes in Bosnia's constitution, Serwer expressed his view against such a possibility by saying, "That's up to the Bosnians now. The US might try to help create favorable conditions for constitutional reform, but it won't seek to impose changes."
He adds that Americans believe they had invested enough attention and diplomatic efforts in Bosnia during the 1990s.
"The international community gave Bosnia the Dayton constitution, which is certainly part of the problem. But that doesn't mean we have to solve the problem, or even could if we wanted to. Americans certainly feel that they've given Bosnia its share of their time and attention. Today they have many more pressing problems."
Therefore, he firmly believes that EU integration process will better solve political and social problems.
Indicating Bosnia's very slow progress on its EU path, Serwer warns even Kosovo could become an EU member before Bosnia, adding, "If Bosnians are uncomfortable with that idea, they need to elect governments that will accelerate their own preparations for the EU."
Kosovo elections were strategic step
Emphasizing that the recent November 3 elections in Kosovo were a strategic initial step on its path to independence, Serwer said, "There is still a good deal of progress to be made in implementing the Belgrade/Pristina agreements and in normalizing their relations. That will require diplomatic recognition and exchange of ambassadors, which I hope will happen much sooner than most people think."
He concludes that Kosovo is already, in a legal sense, an independent country as Serbia has recognized its constitution.
Stressing that all countries and people in the Balkans want the conflicts to be resolved, Serwer added, "Many countries have ethnic polarization and tension, including the US. Democracies learn to deal with these in the political arena. War does not work well as a solution."