21 April 2017, The Hague: Bangladesh’s contribution to world peace through peace keeping is a huge encouragement for countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina. Elaborating on Bosnian peacekeepers contribution in Afghanistan, Bosnian Assistant Minister for Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Almir Sahovic expressed their keenness to learn more from Bangladesh. Bosnian Minister shared his sentiment when Bangladesh Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovinia, with residence in The Hague, Sheikh Mohammed Belal called on the former in his office in Bosnian Foreign Ministry on 20 April 2017.
Mr. Sahoivc also shared their sense of gratitude to Bangladesh Peace Keepers for their contribution during Bosnian Civil war. Mr. Sahovic is of the view that it was because of Bangladesh Peace Keepers people of Bihac were better protected during their war compared to other parts of Bosnia like Srebrenica and other places.
It may be noted that when civil war broke out in former Yogoslav countries, Bangladesh forces participated in the UNPROFOR (United Nations Protection Force) where a total of 1381 personnel from Bangladesh Army participated from 1992 to December 1995. Subsequently some more members of Bangladesh Police Forces also joined along with 1200 peacekeepers were stationed in the Bosnian city of Bihac, a predominantly Muslim enclave. If proper history of peacekeeping could be dug out, it could be no less a tale of heroism, how Bangladeshi peacekeepers saved entire population of Bihac from Serbian army. Not far from Bihac, people of Srebrenica, under supposed protection of Dutch Peacekeepers, were not that lucky as over 8000 Srebrenican lives were lost, in what is now known as, Srebrenica massacre. Therefore, it is no wonder that Bosnians recall the contribution of Bangladesh Peacekeepers with unbound gratitude. It is expected that a group of about 20 former peacekeepers of UNPROFOR from Bangladesh would be visiting Bosnia soon.
Expressing deep appreciation for Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth and attaining socio-economic development under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bosnian Minister also showed their keenness to know from Bangladesh development journey. Mr. Sahovic requested Ambassador Belal to encourage business people from Bangladesh to visit Bosnia more often and consider investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a gateway to Europe.
Later in the day, Ambassador Belal also met Mr. Amer Bukvic, CEO of Bosna Bank International and lead organizer of Sarajevo Business Forum where Mr. Amer extended an invitation for a business delegation from Bangladesh to the Sarajevo Business Forum 2017. It may be noted that Sarajevo Business Forum, over the years since 2012, became largest annual gathering of business people in Balkan region.