A major international conference was convened in Banja Luka, the capital of the Republic of Srpska, last Saturday, December 9. Held under the title “Respect for Sovereignty of the Republic of Srpska and the Dayton Agreement,” it was attended by politicians, experts and academics from several Western countries to discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The President of the Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, gave the keynote speech at the conference, reaffirming the right to sovereignty of the Serbian people and the need for everyone to respect the Dayton agreements.
Željko Budimir, Minister of Scientific and Technological Development and Higher Education of the Republic of Srpska, said that the most important thing is to respect international agreements and documents in general, and the Dayton agreement in particular, as it has ended the war and provided constitutional structure:
“Our friends from different political parties in Western Europe, Russia and the USA know what we are talking about. The world is rapidly changing. It is very important to save the position of Republic of Srpska and thus reduce dangers in this environment. Our primary goal and idea is to save and protect the position of the Republic of Srpska — if it is possible as a part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, if it is not possible, as an independent state. If the goal of officials in Sarajevo is to create a unified state, centralization and turn Serbs into a minority, in that case, our goal is independence. Most people who came to this conference from abroad understand the key question besetting world politics today. The unipolar world of American hegemony is dying and the new world is emerging. For us Serbs in the Republic of Srpska it is very important to meet the dawn of the new world.”
James Jatras, former U.S. diplomat and analyst, declared: “Well I`ve been here before, and obviously my impression is favourable in terms of possibilities that largely depend on the overall global situation and how strongly the so-called international community is trying to pressure Republic of Srpska to give up of its autonomy and became a part of a unitary state. I strongly endorse what President Dodik today said about the position of Republic of Srpska, I support the Republic of Srpska in resisting such pressures.
The Dayton Accords are in function of global American hegemony, they would not exist in their current form without American dictate. In the US it was never intended to last, it was always meant to lead to the dominantly Muslim unitary state. All those pressures became visible even before the ink was even dry on Dayton and are continuing until today. So, the real strength of the Republic of Srpska is not the words of the Dayton agreement, which are written on sand. It is rather the strength of the people in the Republic of Srpska.”
Angel Georgiev, Member of Bulgarian Parliament, said: “The most important thing is to define borders in Europe, which can make peace and development possible. I am fighting for a strong Europe with a strong identity, with Christianity and tradition which will make Europe a better place for living. Our whole Balkan region has a huge development potential.”
Stefano Valdegamberi, Member of Parliament of the Italian Veneto region, declared his strong support for the right to autonomy and identity of the Srpska Republic within the framework of the Dayton Accords. “The right to self-determination of peoples and democratic respect for the will of the people must never be questioned,” he added. “What causes concern in Bosnia-Herzegovina are external interferences and Sarajevo’s push towards centralism. I hope the dialogue can lead to solutions with mutual respect for the different components of the country.”
Hervé Juvin, a Member of the European Parliament from France, reiterated the need to support the territorial sovereignty of the Srpska Republic and the defence of common Christian values.
The conference on December 9 provided a strong expression of support for the legitimate aspirations of Republika Srpska. It was also an attempt to articulate specific strategies of resistance to the pressure from Brussels and elsewhere. It has demonstrated that there are a number of respectable personalities, institutions and political parties on both sides of the Atlantic who support the Republic of Srpska in its firm determination to survive and regain those rights and competencies that have been illegally taken away from it over the past 28 years.
The conference has provided a significant confirmation that the Republic of Srpska is neither isolated nor friendless in the Western world, that its resistance to the dictates imposed by foreigners is fully justified, and that Banja Luka is one of the capitals of the authentic Europe of sovereign nations which is embodied by the conference participants.