Meeting with Senator Biden’s Advisor on the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

From left to right: Benjamin Tikvina, Adna Karamehic, Tomicah Tillemann and Esmir Ganic

On December 14, 2006, members of the Bosnian-American Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BAACBH) in Washington D. C. met with an advisor of Delaware Senator (D) Joseph Biden, Mr. Tomicah Tillemann. Mr. Tillemann is one of Senator Biden’s advisors on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Senator Biden, a proven friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina, will take over the chairmanship of this committee at the beginning of the New Year.

(Senator Biden has played a key role in U.S. foreign policy for three decades. He is respected in the United States and abroad for being well-informed and for his rational approach to international relations. With his work on the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Biden promotes American influence in stopping dictators who have committed genocide and crimes against humanity. In the 1990s, Senator Biden was among the first who called for American leadership to stop Serbian aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at the same time among those who demanded American action in Kosovo to halt the genocidal plans of Slobodan Milosevic. He demanded strong action on the part of the United States and the rest of the outside world to stop genocide in Darfur, voted for laws to include NATO in the process and ensured additional sanctions against the regime in Sudan.)

At the beginning of the discussion, members of the Advisory Council agreed with Mr. Tillemann that, even though currently Iraq is the U.S.’ foreign policy priority, the U.S. government may not forget Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Tillemann then informed the members of the Advisory Council of Senator Biden’s current projects that relate to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Among other things, Mr. Tillemann mentioned that Senator Biden supports projects allowing for the independent and effective work of the state court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With several of his colleagues, Senator Biden will try to provide a multimillion dollar donation from the U.S. government to the state court of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Advisory Council will work together with Mr. Tillemann on this issue. Mr. Tillemann also noted that Senator Biden supported the invitation to Bosnia and Herzegovina to join NATO’s ”Partnership for Peace” Program. However, he did not agree with the simultaneous invitation to Serbia into this program, due to Serbia’s continued failure to arrest indicted war criminal Ratko Mladic. The Advisory Council also expressed their disagreement with the unconditional and undeserved support for the entry of Montenegro into the “Partnership for Peace” program.

On Republika Srpska, Mr. Tillemann expressed his concern with the behavior of Prime Minister Dodik. He emphasized that Bosnia and Herzegovina is an independent state and that it is crucial for the political and economic atmosphere in the country to be in the spirit of European principles and in tune with the demands of the European Union.

At the end of this meeting, Mr. Tillemann once again reminded the Advisory Council of Senator Biden’s emotional connection with Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as his wish for success and progress in the country.