US Vice President Biden Starts Western Balkans Tour in Bosnia

World | May 19, 2009, Tuesday // 09:24|  views

Vice President Biden's Balkan trip is seen as reaffirming the US commitment to the fate of the Western Balkans. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The US Vice President Joe Biden is arriving to Bosnia and Herzegovina Tuesday on a mini tour in the Western Balkans.

Strict security measures are in place in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo where Biden is arriving together with the EU High Representative on the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana.

Sarajevo is the first stop of Biden's trip in the Western Balkans because of the desire of the US Administration to prop up the federated Bosnian state, and prevent its breakup, the Bulgarian National Radio has reported citing Serbian analysts.

According to the Serbian newspaper Blitz, the USA is eager to prevent a scenario in which, if the present situation does not change, Bosnia and Herzegovina is likely to break up, potentially spurring armed conflict.

US analysts believe the political climate in Bosnia is close to that in 1991. The Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, has been proactive in insisting that the autonomous republic split up.

Meanwhile, the Bosnian leader Haris Silajdzic has warned that any attempt to split up would lead to bloodshed.

After Sarajevo, Joe Biden is heading for the Serbian capital Belgrade where the integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina is expected to be one of the matters he will discuss with Serbian President Boris Tadic. Biden's last stop in the Balkans is the young republic of Kosovo.

According to various analyses, the visit of the US Vice President Joe Biden to the Western Balkans is a demonstration of the desire of the Obama Administration to restart US commitment to the region in order to aid its countries with their European and Euro-Atlantic integration.


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Tags: Joe Biden, US Vice President, Western Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, kosovo, Republika Srbska


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