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Operation Commander of EUFOR Althea visits Sarajevo

Operation Commander of EUFOR Althea visits Sarajevo_1
General Sir Richard Shirreff, the Operation Commander of EUFOR “Althea” and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe was welcomed to Camp Butmir by an Honour Guard comprising of the 26 contributing nations today, 05 Oct. General Shirreff will spend 2 days in BiH, this is his second official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina since taking up the role of EUFOR Operation Commander on 4 March 2011.  

The Operation Commander was welcomed to the EUFOR HQ by Major General Bernhard Bair, COM EUFOR. The General undertook a number of official meetings including an Office Call with Ambassador Peter Sorensen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union Special Representative. He also attended a meeting with Mr Bakir IZETBEGOVIĆ, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  These meetings demonstrate the support and cooperation between the EU, EUFOR and the institutions of BiH in maintaining progress towards a sustainable, democratic BiH integrated into European and international organisations.
General Shirreff also received a series of updates on all aspects of the Operation Althea Mission from Staff Officers in the Headquarters at Camp Butmir.  Also present during these updates was the Head of European Union Command Element, Lieutenant General Leandro de Vincenti.

Full Text of General Sir Richard Shirreff’s Press Statement

I am pleased to have this opportunity to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina for the second time in my term as Operation Commander of the UN sanctioned, Operation ‘ALTHEA” mission. During my first visit I saw firsthand the superb work carried out by EUFOR in BiH. I am delighted that the men and women of EUFOR continue to play a vital role in supporting the BiH institutions and assisting in maintaining a safe and secure environment for all.  
It is clear that the EUFOR mission, together with the EU delegation and other international partners, have an important part to play in the post conflict process. But, the process can only continue to move forwards with the support of all the people of BiH. It is disappointing to see that no State level Council of Ministers has been formed since Bosnia and Herzegovina held its last elections over one year ago.
Nonetheless EUFOR will continue to develop its mission and be flexible enough to react to change.  All military operations change over time and we have seen great change over the last 10 years.  But be assured that the international community remains committed to BiH and in supporting the provision of a safe and secure environment.
EUFOR will continue to support the Armed Forces of BiH through training and capacity building and I am personally delighted by the performance of your armed forces in support of operations in Afghanistan. You should be proud of their achievements.   EUFOR cannot and would not work alone and I regularly engage with institutions in the EU to ensure that BiH remains on the agenda across all areas of the EU and not just the military actors.  The force is committed to supporting the overarching European and Defence mission and providing BiH with a stable platform, from which to achieve its aspirations of joining the European Union.


Chief Press Officer:       
Lt Col Gerhard Schweiger
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Lt Cdr Stuart Cantellow RN    
00387 (0)33 49 5216
00387 (0)61 177 943
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