France and Bosnia-Herzegovina
The political dialogue between France and Bosnia-Herzegovina began with the country’s independence and has never been broken off, not even during the years of conflict. France has had a strong military and diplomatic involvement, even before the signing of the peace accords in Paris on 14 December 1995: first contribution to UNPROFOR (85 soldiers killed during the operations), deployment of our forces in Sarajevo, which was under siege, in summer 1992, first state to open an embassy in Sarajevo in January 1993, creation in April 1994 of the Contact Group.
At the beginning of 2009, France announced the withdrawal of its contingent (85 soldiers) deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina for operation EUFOR-Althea. France is still involved in the ESDP missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through its participation in the European Union Police Mission - EUPM - and, since November 2007, in the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) in Althea. France supports the High Representative’s actions through its presence on the Steering Board of the PIC (Peace Implementation Council), the managing authority of the international trusteeship.
Bilateral political dialogue is steady:
Bernard Kouchner went to Sarajevo 8-9 April 2009, for a joint visit with his Czech and Swedish counterparts, Mr. Schwarzenberg and Carl Bildt, respectively, under the trio of presidencies of the European Union.
In the other direction, Sadik Ahmetovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, made a working visit to France 17-20 January 2010 and was received (on the 18th) by the Minister of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Mutually Supportive Development, Eric Besson.
Interparliamentary exchanges are active, through the Friendship Group of the National Assembly, headed by François Lamy (carrying out missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina in December 2006 and July 2008) and the France-Western Balkans Interparliamentary Group of the Senate, headed by Robert Badinter, Jack Ralite, deputy chairman for Bosnia and Herzegovina, led a friendship group travelling to Bosnia and Herzegovina in April 2009.
Updated on 18.03.10