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NDC - News-An exclusive tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defence and security

An exclusive tour of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defence and security

  • 20 Mar. 2024
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  • Last updated: 20 Mar. 2024 10:34

On 15 and 16 March 2024, NATO Regional Cooperation Course 31 visited Sarajevo to learn more about Bosnia and Herzegovina's defence and security landscape. The visit aimed to provide Course Members with a deeper understanding of the multifaceted challenges facing the nation's defence and security framework and of its strategic objectives.

Mr Zoran Šajinović briefing Course Members.

After visiting Brussels, Belgium, NRCC 31 continued their Field Study trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH), an active and important NATO partner country, which joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 2006.

Course Members visited the Army Hall in Sarajevo, where they received first-hand briefings from Mr Zoran Šajinović, Assistant Minister for International Cooperation, and Colonel Edin Čizmić, from the Ministry of Defence. They addressed BIH's defence situation and security policy, underscoring the importance of coherent and proactive strategies to navigate the multifaceted challenges confronting the nation. Moreover, they discussed BIH's cooperation with NATO and underlined BIH’s strategic objective to integrate into both the European Union and NATO, emphasizing the nation's aim and efforts to foster greater alignment with Euro-Atlantic security frameworks.

On the following day, Course Members visited the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo (NHQSa) and were able to engage with NHQSa Commander Brigadier General Pamela McGaha to discuss the mission and priorities of the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, along with updates on the continued cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina's defence and security institutions. They also learnt about the objectives and mandate of the European Union Force in BIH as part of Operation Althea, as presented by EUFOR Althea Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Ovidiu Lungu.

During the visit to Sarajevo, the NATO Defense College’s Commandant, LGEN Max A.L.T. Nielsen, seized the opportunity to hold a bilateral meeting with BIH’s Minister of Defence, Mr Zukan Helez. Their discussions centred on possible ways of enhancing cooperation between the NATO Defense College and BIH. Additionally, the Commandant met with BGEN McGaha to present the core initiatives and academic programmes made available by the NDC to NATO member states and partners, including Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Understanding the national perspective of NATO member and partner countries is one of the main aims of the Field Study trip. Indeed, the visit to Sarajevo was a key opportunity to gain a better insight into the complex situation of BIH, especially in the security and defence areas, and the significance of international cooperation and alignment with Euro-Atlantic security frameworks in enhancing BIH's defence capabilities and fostering regional stability.

NDC Public Affairs Office
(Prepared by Ms Sofia Carvalheiro, PRT C)