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Shaheen Leads Bipartisan Group Meeting with Bosnia and Herzegovina Tripartite Presidency in Washington

BiH meeting

Senators Shaheen (D-NH) and Wicker (R-MS), who lead bipartisan legislation in the Senate to strengthen U.S.-Balkan ties, welcome Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency in Washington, DC earlier today.  

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, led a bipartisan group of Senators today in a bilateral meeting with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) tripartite presidency. Senators Tillis (R-NC), Murphy (D-CT), Wicker (R-MS), Durbin (D-IL) and Van Hollen (D-MD) participated in the meeting with the BiH Presidency members: President Željka Cvijanović, President Željko Komšić and President Denis Bećirović. 

“As Bosnia and Herzegovina works toward advancing its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, it’s important that the U.S. continue to support their ambitious reform agenda. We want to support their citizens’ demands for a democratic, prosperous future, and I was encouraged by signs of opportunity for cooperation and the formation of key institutions to set them on that path. Bosnia and Herzegovina faces a precarious political situation, so every effort to resolve the differences between parties must be prioritized by its leaders – and supported by partners like the United States – especially as Russia looks to exacerbate tensions and spread its malign influence,” said Senator Shaheen. “It was an honor to welcome the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Washington, DC – the first visit for the tripartite presidency in eighteen years – which I hope fosters a renewed partnership between our two nations.” 

“I want to thank the BiH Tri-Presidency for meeting with us to strengthen our partnership as we continue to combat Russian aggression and influence in Eastern Europe,” said Senator Tillis. “As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, I am proud to work with Senator Shaheen on these important updates and show the Senate’s continued support for the NATO Alliance.” 

“A generation has gone by since the last time all three members of the presidency visited Washington together,” said Senator Wicker. “Bosnia remains far short of the prosperous democracy we hoped it would become and that its people deserve. I urged our distinguished visitors to work for unity and conveyed the United States’ strong support for Operation Althea.” 

 “The Bosnian people paid a terrible price in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia,” said Senator Durbin. “After so much bloodshed and suffering, we must not let spoilers undermine the hard fought peace the U.S. and others helped broker.  During today’s bipartisan meeting, we reiterated U.S support for their democracy and I look forward to our continued partnership.” 

“I appreciated the opportunity to join Senator Shaheen today to meet with Presidents Bećirović, Cvijanović, and Komšić during their historic visit to the United States. As the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina take important steps forward on their path to EU membership, the United States will continue to back their efforts to strengthen their democracy. It’s critical that all parties continue working together to achieve this important goal and ensure all citizens are fairly represented in the political process. The United States will keep working to support peace and democratization in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Senator Van Hollen

Senator Shaheen is leading bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Senate with Senator Wicker to strengthen U.S.-Balkan ties, which both Senators Tillis and Murphy co-sponsor. In the fall, the lawmakers wrote a letter to the Biden administration on the importance of the EUFOR mandate and urged the development of a comprehensive strategy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. Shaheen traveled to the Western Balkans in October to serve as an election monitor for the Bosnia and Herzegovina elections, which followed a separate trip to the region in April with Senators Murphy and Tillis. Shaheen shared her experience as an election monitor on ‘Balkans Debrief’ with Ilva Tare. Together, Shaheen and Tillis serve as co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-established together in 2018.