BiH has Diplomatic Relations with 173 Countries, but where it does have Embassies?

August 28, 2017 6:15 PM

Even though Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has established diplomatic relations with 173 countries, cooperation between our citizens and government and other parts of the world is still very difficult due to the lack of diplomatic missions. We have resident embassies in 44 countries and cover 61 countries with non-resident ambassadors.

Our country has no embassies in South America and sub-Saharan Africa. The BiH embassy in Washington covers the U.S. and Brazil, while the BiH embassies in Tripoli and Cairo cover the rest of Africa.

“It sounds not logical to not have embassies in these countries. Of course, that hinders cooperation with those parts of the world. However, opening new and closing existing embassies in the world is the exclusive competency of the Presidency of BiH. This diplomatic-consular network that we have today is a result of certain political compromises in past periods. We’re working on a new law and a new strategy for foreign policy, as well as an analysis of our diplomatic-consular network. We’ll have our report on the opportunities of opening new embassies or closing current ones in October. The final decision will be on the Presidency,” the minister of foreign affairs of BiH Igor Crnadak said.

According to the adviser to the minister of foreign affairs of BiH Nebojsa Regoje, the key question is how and where BiH wants to optimize its foreign policy and what kind of foreign policy our country wants.

“We started to work on defining the Strategy of foreign affairs and we’ll soon start an expert discussion on that topic. As a part of that, surely, the question of where we should be maximally represented, which country should be covered by non-residents, will dominate,” Regoje said.

He also emphasizes that BiH can follow other countries’ example. For example, Australia, Denmark and Canada are some of the many wealthy countries that have been closing their embassies throughout the world in the wish to optimize.

“Estonia has a GDP per capita four and a half times bigger than ours and the same number of bilateral embassies as BiH. However, Estonia has 177 honorary consulates in 177 countries. They decided to use that way to advance their foreign policy and diplomatic work,” Regoje explained.

Minister Crnadak emphasizes how consulates cannot replace embassies, but how BiH can strengthen activities on the path towards getting new honorary consulates in those parts of the world where we plan on opening embassies.

“Those are people that can help us a lot. They don’t cost our country anything and can give us a very positive effect,” Crnadak emphasized.

Our country doesn’t have embassies in the following European countries: Portugal, Luxembourg, Monaco, Albania, Andorra, Slovakia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belorussia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Ireland and Iceland. These countries are covered by non-resident embassies from other EU countries.

BiH in the western hemisphere has two embassies, one in Washington and the other in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. In Central Asia, we don’t have a single embassy while the BiH embassy in Russia covers them. In the Far East and South Asia, BiH has embassies in Canberra, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo and Beijing. These embassies cover the rest of south and east Asia.

(Source: author Dz.C)




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