Schwarz-Schilling Flies to London after Burns Meeting

The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Christian Schwarz-Schilling, flew to London today after a series of high-level meetings in Washington, including with Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the State Department, Nicholas Burns, in Washington.

The Washington talks focused on preparations for the upcoming meeting of the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) in Brussels on 26 and 27 February, at which the international community will review its decision to close the Office of the High Representative at the end of June.

During their meeting, the High Representative and EU Special Representative and the US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs made clear that they expect the new authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to make rapid progress on police reform and resume the process of constitutional reform. They also stressed the importance of undertaking a thorough analysis of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region ahead of the next meeting of the PIC.

Schwarz-Schilling said that the new government in Bosnia and Herzegovina should focus its efforts on fulfilling all remaining conditions for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union. “At the same time, the European Union will work on raising its profile and advice capacity by developing the office of the EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.

During his visit to the US capital, the High Representative and EU Special Representative also held talks with Rosemary di Carlo, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, and Judy Ansley, the Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. On Monday, the High Representative and EU Special Representative met with Brcko Arbitrator Roberts Owen.

In London tomorrow, Schwarz-Schilling will hold talks with senior UK officials. At the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he will meet with Europe Minister Geoff Hoon, Political Director John Sawyers and Head of the Western Balkans Group Michael Tatham.