UN Security Council backs Lithuanian bid to extend military mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

UN Security Council
AFP/Scanpix

The mandate of EUFOR ALTHEA mission was extended by the UN Security Council for one year, with 14 UN Security Council members voting in support and Russia abstaining, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Lithuania proposed the draft resolution as the head of the contact group for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lithuania’s permanent representative at the UN Ambassador Raimonda Murmokaitė emphasized after the vote that it sent a strong signal of support by the international community to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We are convinced that the Euro-Atlantic integration is an important factor, which rallies countries of the region for democratic reforms, economic development, stability and peace,” the diplomat said in a press release.

High Commissioner for Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko urged the country’s political elite to go beyond political and ethnic differences for improvement of the country’s social and economic situation and seek Euro-Atlantic integration.

The contact group for Bosnia and Herzegovina currently includes the Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. All members of the group take turns to hold presidency of the group for a month.

EUFOR is a response force unit consisting of Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. ALTHEA has been conducting the security mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2004 after replacing the NATO SFOR peace-keeping mission there.

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