WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BiH) tripartite presidency. Murphy joined U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in the meeting with the BiH Presidency members: President Željka Cvijanovi?, President Željko Komši? and President Denis Be?irovi?. 

“While Russia is waging war against Ukraine, Putin is also seeking to undermine stability in vulnerable parts of Europe like the Western Balkans. The U.S. must step up our engagement in the region, and I was glad to meet today with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency to discuss their commitment to maintaining peace, strengthening energy independence, and working on reforms necessary to achieving European integration. Support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s democratic future is a bipartisan priority, and I look forward to continuing to strengthen the longstanding ties between our countries,” said Murphy.

“As Bosnia and Herzegovina works toward advancing its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, it’s important that the U.S. continue to support their ambitious reform agenda. We want to support their citizens’ demands for a democratic, prosperous future, and I was encouraged by signs of opportunity for cooperation and the formation of key institutions to set them on that path. Bosnia and Herzegovina faces a precarious political situation, so every effort to resolve the differences between parties must be prioritized by its leaders – and supported by partners like the United States – especially as Russia looks to exacerbate tensions and spread its malign influence,” said Shaheen. “It was an honor to welcome the tripartite presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Washington, DC – the first visit for the tripartite presidency in eighteen years – which I hope fosters a renewed partnership between our two nations.” 

“A generation has gone by since the last time all three members of the presidency visited Washington together,” said Wicker. “Bosnia remains far short of the prosperous democracy we hoped it would become and that its people deserve. I urged our distinguished visitors to work for unity and conveyed the United States’ strong support for Operation Althea.”  

“I want to thank the BiH Tri-Presidency for meeting with us to strengthen our partnership as we continue to combat Russian aggression and influence in Eastern Europe,”?said Tillis. “As co-chair of the Senate NATO Observer Group, I am proud to work with Senator Shaheen on these important updates and show the Senate’s continued support for the NATO Alliance.”

“The Bosnian people paid a terrible price in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia,” said Durbin. “After so much bloodshed and suffering, we must not let spoilers undermine the hard fought peace the U.S. and others helped broker.  During today’s bipartisan meeting, we reiterated U.S support for their democracy and I look forward to our continued partnership.” 

“I appreciated the opportunity to join Senator Shaheen today to meet with Presidents Be?irovi?, Cvijanovi?, and Komši? during their historic visit to the United States. As the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina take important steps forward on their path to EU membership, the United States will continue to back their efforts to strengthen their democracy. It’s critical that all parties continue working together to achieve this important goal and ensure all citizens are fairly represented in the political process. The United States will keep working to support peace and democratization in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Van Hollen. 

Last year, Murphy introduced bipartisan legislation to support economic development in the region through initiatives on infrastructure, trade and anti-corruption, including codification of sanctions to deter destabilizing activity In the Western Balkans. In the fall, the lawmakers also wrote a letter to the Biden administration on the importance of the EUFOR mandate and urged the development of a comprehensive strategy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. In April, Murphy, Shaheen, and Tillis traveled to the Western Balkans, including Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo.