Joining EU, NATO vital for Bosnia, says Turkey's Babacan

Bosnia's accession process to EU and NATO will encourage institutional reforms, Turkish deputy PM says in Sarajevo

Bosnia's accession process to EU and NATO will encourage institutional reforms, Turkish deputy PM says in Sarajevo

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Bosnia-Herzegovina's bids to join the European Union and NATO are significant for the country's stability, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said Monday.

"It is vital for Bosnia's economy to have updated insititutional structures, and to make insititutional reforms," he said in his one-day visit to Sarajevo.

He stressed the financial assistance that the international community provides for Bosnia, and termed foreign support and cooperation as necessary elements for the future of Bosnia's economy.

"An economic model that will make the country a more attractive investment place for private sector is a must for Bosnia," he added.

One of the most senior voices on Turkey's economy, Babacan reaffirmed Turkey's support for Bosnia's accession to EU and NATO, a process he called significant for stability.

"Democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, and rule of law are all important and indispensable for development, stability and welfare in Bosnia," he said.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was recently hit by heavy rainfall and floods that left at least 60 people dead throughout the Balkans and affected almost one quarter of Bosnia's four million population.

Babacan stressed that Turkey provided utmost support together with local authorities and international institutions to help Bosnia heal the wounds of the worst floods to hit the Balkans in living memory, causing a destruction comparable to the country's 1992-95 war.

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