Bosnian Serb Strongman to Sack 16 Ambassadors

After meeting the new President of Republika Srpska, Zeljka Cvijanovic, on Thursday in Banja Luka, Milorad Dodik, the former RS President and new Serbian member of the Bosnian Presidency, said he would be seeking to replace a list of Bosnian ambassadors.

"In accordance with article 80 of the RS constitution, the President of the RS will submit proposals to the members of the Presidency for people to represent the RS in the foreign policy sphere," Cvijanovic said in Banja Luka after this meeting.

By law, each member of the three-member Bosnian Presidency appoints a certain number of ambassadors, so Dodik is within his rights to make such changes.

The changes will take place in the embassies in Japan, Bulgaria, Israel, Switzerland, Canada, Greece, Romania, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, at the OSCE, at the UN in New York, in Frankfurt and in Istanbul.

Cvijanovic said she expected a new appointment for Macedonia as well. Their replacements had already been selected, she added.

"It is important to select people who will protect the interests of the Republika Srpska in Bosnia's foreign policy, but not to do any damage to others," Cvijanovic said.

"Our desire is that the Republika Srpska be visible in all the issues and competencies that, according to the constitution, belong to us," Dodik said.

Analysts said the changes were not unexpected; Dodik was taking control of one of the last segments of the state apparatus not under his control already.

"This is political revenge because it is about the ambassadors appointed by his predecessor and political opponent," Banja Luka-based analyst Tanja Topic told BIRN, referring to former presidency member Mladen Ivanic.

"And by replacing these...

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