Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Igor Crnadak, paid an official visit to Ireland on 26 January 2017. During his visit, Minister Crnadak met the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charles Flanagan. During their meeting, the Ministers expressed mutual agreement that the two countries have sound and friendly relations. Also, there was expressed desire to further strengthen their relations in future, primarily in light of the process of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s integration into European Union, emphasising that the current circumstances should be used and that a top level bilateral meeting should be arranged soon.
Minister Crnadak expressed appreciation to his colleague Flanagan for the support of Ireland to the European aspirations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this being confirmed with the fact that the Ireland was among the first EU countries ratifying the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with our country and further reaffirmed with the fact that this issue was among the priorities of the Irish EU Presidency 2013.
The Irish Minister congratulated our country for its results achieved in the past year in regard of the BiH integration into EU, stressing that enlargement of the EU to include the countries of the Western Balkans is the best guarantee for stability and reform processes throughout the region. The economic relations were discussed as well, with conclusion that those are at a rather modest level, having regard of already traditionally friendly relations between the two countries, and that it is about time to make concrete steps toward intensification of the economic cooperation.
Continuing his visit to Ireland, Minister Crnadak met Mr. Seán Ó Fearghail, Chairman of the lower House of the Irish Parliament (Ceann Comhairle) and Mr.Denis O'Donovan, Chairman of the Senate (Chathaoirlech of Seanad Éireann). During these meetings, in addition to exchange of information regarding current political situation in the two countries, there was expressed a mutual desire for a sounder parliamentary cooperation that is supposed to be improved with bilateral visits as early as this year.
In course of his visit, Minister Crnadak also met Senator Terry Leyden, Vice-Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs. Senator Leyden visited our country for several times and is well acquainted with the political developments both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the region. Readiness for a sounder cooperation was expressed, and also a possibility to establish a honorary BiH consulate in Dublin was also mentioned.
The visit to Ireland ended with a tour of the Trinity College in Dublin, established as early as in 1592 by the Queen Elisabeth I. The Trinity College is situated in the central part of Dublin, nearby Irish Parliament, covering the area of 190,000 m², is attended by approximately 17,000 students annually. In the College premises is exhibited the oldest book in Ireland, Book of Kells, named after the Kells Cathedral, that dates back from the VIII century, while within the College facilities there is also a Library with around 6 million of books, many of them dating back from the Middle Ages (XV, XVI, XVII Centuries).