POLITICS

Inzko: US President-elect Biden has a longstanding Understanding of the Situation in the Balkans

High Representative Valentin Inzko extended his sincere congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States of America and wished him success in his important work as the US President.

“The US President-elect Biden has a great and longstanding understanding of the situation in the Balkans. He visited the region repeatedly – as the Vice President of the United States and even earlier, during the times of President Tito – and was actively engaged in efforts of the wider international community to support the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of this region. He accompanied President Clinton to Sarajevo in 1997 and visited Bosnia and Herzegovina again as the Vice President in 2009.

Accordingly, his team also has a number of outstanding experts, especially in the field of foreign policy; among them are experts for the Balkans and Bosnia Herzegovina. One of them is definitely Professor Bill Burns, who served as the Deputy Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton, and who received me twice in my capacity as the High Representative. Another strong Democratic policymaker is Susan Rice, who was the US Ambassador to the United Nations at a time when numerous resolutions on Bosnia Herzegovina were adopted. An equally outstanding Democratic diplomat is Samantha Power, also a former US Ambassador to the UN. What is also remarkable about Samantha Power is that she wrote a 640-page book entitled “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. The book is of principled nature; it speaks about the consequences of genocide and international presence in places where it happened, but Samantha Power focused also on individual cases of genocide and the US response to such crises as Cambodia, BiH, Rwanda, and Kosovo.

Of course, there is also Elvir Klempić, highest-ranked Bosnian in Biden’s team and his advisor of many years.

President Biden is faced with hundreds of issues that require resolution, both abroad and at home, including the crisis brought on by the pandemic. But it is reassuring that he knows this region and has a number of highly qualified and motivated people around him who have been dealing with Southeast Europe their whole lives.

Having had the pleasure to meet Mr Biden during his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina in May 2009, I am convinced that he is a true friend of this country and that he will, together with European partners, turn a new page in this part of Europe,” stated the High Representative.

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