16.12.1997

Decision imposing the Law on Citizenship of BiH

H.E. Alija Izetbegovic
Chair of the Presidency

H.E. Kresimir Zubak
Member of the Presidency

H.E. Momcilo Krajisnik
Member of the Presidency

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dear Presidents,

With reference to Para II 1 a of the Bonn Document, the deadline of 15 December 1997 to adopt the three Laws on Citizenship, Council of Ministers and Travel Documents has expired.

As I see it two laws were adopted properly by the two Houses of Parliament:

  1. The Law on the Council of Ministers and the Ministries of Bosnia and Herzegovina (adoption in the House of Peoples on 16 December, in the House of Representatives on 2 December 1997).
  2. The Law on Travel Documents (adopted in the House of Representatives on 15 December and in the House of Peoples on 16 December 1997).

The necessary steps to publish both laws in the Official Gazette should be taken immediately.

It is with regret that I have been informed about the failure of both Houses to take a similar decision with regard to the Law on Citizenship on Bosnia and Herzegovina within the said deadline.

In accordance with my authority under Annex 10 of the Peace Agreement and Article XI of the Bonn Document, I do hereby decide that the Law on Citizenship of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall enter into force by 1 January 1998 on interim basis, until the Parliamentary Assembly adopts this law in due form, without amendments and no conditions attached. The text of the Law, submitted to Parliament and in accordance with Annex 1 of the Bonn Documents is attached hereto and must be published in the Official Gazette as well.

As all three laws are of utmost importance for the Peace Process I invite the Chairs of the Council of Ministers as well as the Minister for Civil Affairs and his Deputies to my Office on 19 December at 11 a.m. to discuss the next steps which must be taken to implement the three laws without delay. I would be grateful if you could request the Members of the Council to attend this meeting.

In concluding, I recall in this context the Bonn Document, which calls on the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt the statement on the possibility of concluding bilateral agreements on dual citizenship in accordance with the Constitution. I would appreciate if the Presidency in its meeting on 17 December 1997 could discuss this issue in a spirit of co-operation and mutual good will.

The Peace Process is, after Sintra and Bonn, entering a new and decisive phase. I am decided to fully use my authorities under Annex 10 of the Dayton peace Accord and Article 11 of the Bonn Document to insure an efficient implementation and fully count on your fully co-operation in this endeavour.

This letter will be distributed to the Media. The Co-Chairs and the Vice-Chair of the Council of Ministers will receive copies. Translations will follow by tomorrow morning (17.12.).

Yours sincerely,

Carlos Westendorp
High Representative

Office of the High Representative