The beginning of the project “Mine- free Sarajevo by 2020” made official

At today’s press conference at the City Hall it was stated that the city of Sarajevo and its neighbouring municipalities will be cleared of mines by 2020. The launching of the initiative “Mine-free Sarajevo by 2020” was made official at the press conference by US Ambassador Eric Nelson and the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka.

Namely, the United States of America approved funds for demining of Sarajevo and the neighbouring municipalities of both entities by the end of 2020, and this information was presented to the press on April 4, on the International Mine Awareness Day, by Nelson and Skaka. The demining will be carried out at the so-called mine suspected areas in five municipalities in both entities – Old Town, East Old Town, Novi Grad, East Ilidža and Vogošća.

“Most countries mark this day symbolically, and the sad truth is that Bosnian and Herzegovinian citizens are aware of the horror and tragedy that the mines entail. USA is proud that we are the main donor in the project “Mine- free Sarajevo”, which is our biggest single donation in the past 20 years. This great initiative has as its goal to clear Sarajevo and East Sarajevo from the war legacy which disrupts reconciliation and development”, said Nelson.

According to Ambassador Nelson, USA has invested 115 million dollars in demining projects and destruction of remaining weapons and ammunition.

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka expressed his pleasure with the fact that the project implementation has started just 6 months after the signing of the Memorandum on Mine Clearance on April 4 – International Mine Awareness Day.

“We are thankful to the people and government of the United States. This presents the continuation of our deep, sincere and logterm friendship and partnership. This is a very important project which send a message of safety and progress, and that is the precondition for economic progress and development, especially of tourism.” Stressed Mayor Skaka expressing his appreciation for the existing generous support of the United States of America and the State Department Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement.

President of MDDC company who will participate in the project implementation Nermin Hadžimujagić said that eight million square meters of hazardous mine suspected area, banned for use and free movement will be made risk-free.

We are certain that the implementation of this project will be a great step forward in reaching the goal of clearing the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina from mines by 2025 set in the BiH Strategy for Countering Landmines. – he added.

Prior to the press conference, Mayor Skaka and Ambassador Nelson met with the representatives of municipalities involved in this project, and Representatives of BiH Mine Clearance Committee, BiH Centre for removal of Mines and partners involved in the project implementation.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina Wigemark discussed future joint projects with Mayor Skaka and Deputy Mayors

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH Lars Gunnar Wigemark commended the successful organisation of the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF and the spectacular opening at the Stadium Asim Ferhatović Hase, which he also attended, during the meeting with the Mayor Abdulah Skaka.

Wigemark discussed the cooperation on joint projects which are in progress with the Mayor and Deputy Mayors.

The granting of European funds was also discussed, with the emphasis on the significant improvement the City of Sarajevo made in this respect, and the plans for intensifying activities related to obtaining EU funds.

Furthermore, they agreed on joint activities related to marking of May 9, the Day of Europe.

Skaka discussed the strengthening of cooperation with the Head of Executive Power of Baku City

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka met today with the Head of Executive Power of Baku City Mr. Eldar Azizov.

The heads of two friendly cities agreed to improve cooperation and connect not only the two city administrations but also the citizens of the two capitals.

Azizov said that he had heard a lot of positive things about Sarajevo and expressed his desire to visit the BiH capital city at the first opportunity.

During the meeting it was suggested to build a „Sarajevo Park“ in Baku and install Sarajevo Sebilj fountain as a symbol of permanent friendship considering that there is already a street of the City of Baku in Sarajevo and a Park of Friendship.

The meeting was also attended by the BiH Ambassador Bakir Sadović, Head of Office for Cabinet Affairs Ensar Eminović and President of the Mayor’s Council for the ICTY Ivo Komšić.

Sarajevo and Baku have been friendly cities since 1972. Mayor of Sarajevo is attending the Baku Forum in Azerbaijan on the topic „New Foreign Policy“.

Discussion about development projects: Head of EBRD Office paid a visit to the Mayor

City of Sarajevo actively participates in the organisation of EBRD Assembly, where investors and economic elite who will gather in Sarajevo will be presented with several projects of great importance to the city and state, to be held on 8th and 9th of May.

The Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka had talks with the head of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on that topic.

Apart from that, they also discussed the possibility for cooperation between EBRD and the City of Sarajevo. Brown expressed interest in participating in investments planned by the City of Sarajevo, offering his technical support.

The City of Sarajevo will use the opportunity to introduce the guests and potential investors during the EBRD Assembly to projects which are being developed or implemented, which include skiing slope on Trebević, reconstruction of Jajce military barracks and building of restaurant at Vidikovac.

The City wants to present development projects which are being implemented to foreign investors in order to consider the possibility of bilateral cooperation and partnership.

Mayor Skaka paid a visit to the Mayor of Vienna: strengthening of cooperation in the field of tourism and smart technologies

The Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka and Mayor of Vienna Michael Ludwig agreed on the strengthening of cooperation and implementation of joint projects in different fields: culture, tourism, and smart technologies, during a meeting held today in Vienna.

Mayor Skaka congratulated his colleague for taking over the duty of the Mayor of Vienna and expressed his expectation that the two friendly cities will deepen ties and expand their scope of cooperation.

 We had a very good conversation on specific topics. We discussed the participation in some urban development projects, strengthening of tourist potentials and cooperation in the field of application of smart technologies -stressed Mayor Skaka.

They also discussed the holding of the event “Days of Sarajevo in Vienna” i.e. “Days of Vienna in Sarajevo” with the goal of promoting culture and tourism and bringing together artists and citizens of the two cities.

Mayor Skaka said that he was very encouraged with the meeting and expressed his conviction that he will have a strong, continual and concrete cooperation with the Mayor of Vienna to the benefit of two cities.

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka met with the Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to BiH H.E. Ulrike Hartmann

Mayor wished a successful mandate and welcome to Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Ambassador Hartmann and expressed his gratitude for the support and constructive engagement with the City of Vienna and Austria, and expressed hope that the successful cooperation will continue.

They discussed the joint efforts for BiH youth to remain in their homeland, and the implementation of the project of expert training and cooperation in the field of culture between the two capital cities, Sarajevo and Vienna.

The now traditional event – Austrian ball which will be held for the third time this year in the beautiful ambience of the City Hall with rich entertainment programme, will further strengthen the friendly ties between Sarajevo and Vienna, Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina and their citizens.

“ We will once again be the hosts of the artistic event organized by friendly cities, Sarajevo and Vienna. This prestigious event promotes cultural tourism and Sarajevo in Europe and the world”, said Mayor Skaka.

He also expressed gratitude for the assistance provided to Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria during wartime. Austria also took in a great number of refugees.

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka welcomed the newly appointed Ambassador of NR China to BiH H.E. Ji Ping

The present successful cooperation was discussed during the very cordial and friendly meeting, especially the sister city ties between Sarajevo and Chinese city Tianjin. They expressed their pleasure with the increasing number of Chinese tourists in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the projects aimed at strengthening the tourist offer in Sarajevo.

Ambassador Ping suggested that Sarajevo extends its ties with other Chinese cities, particularly Shanghai.

Furthermore, they also discussed the initiative for Sarajevo to become the host of meeting of mayors as part of the initiative 16+1, which promotes cooperation of the broader region and China.

Mayor Skaka expressed his pleasure with the existing good relations and wished Ambassador a successful mandate and stay in BiH.

Mayor Skaka received the Ambassador of United Kingdom

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka received the Ambassador of United Kingdom H.E. Matthew Field at the City Hall today.

The improvement of existing cooperation was discussed in the meeting, and the Mayor acquainted the Ambassador with the ongoing preparations for the start of the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF 2019.

The Ambassador of United Kingdom informed the Mayor about the interest of United Kingdom in assisting local authorities in the process of strengthening urban development.

Mayor Abdulah Skaka is returning the Flame of Peace to Sarajevo

The “Flame of Peace” was handed over to the Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka at the Olympic Stadium in Rome in preparation for the European Youth Olympic Festival EYOF 2019 in Sarajevo and East Sarajevo from 9 to 16 February.

The Flame of Peace Ceremony was organized by the European Olympic Committee in Rome today and the flame was also handed over to Nenad Vuković, Mayor of East Sarajevo, and the ceremony was also attended by manager of EYOF Ltd. Senahid Godinjak.

In that way “The Flame of Peace” is beginning its journey towards Sarajevo where it will be lit at the celebratory opening ceremony on February 10 at the “Asim Ferhatović Hase” Olympic Stadium.
The Flame of Peace is on its way to Sarajevo where it belongs. Our city cherishes all the Olympic values and everything that this flame carries with it. To be given an olive branch and this flame is a great honour shared by the peoples and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sarajevo, as a universal message of peace and progress – said Mayor Skaka on that occasion.

“Flame of Peace” was handed over by Raffaele Pagnozzi, General Secretary of the European Olympic Committee and Josef Liba, member of EOC Executive Committee and President of EYOF 2019 Coordination Commission.

Mayor Skaka was met by Francesco Saverio Terruzzio, the representative of maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto in cooperation with the Embassy of Italy in Sarajevo.
Manager Godinjak pointed out that the Flame of Peace handover ceremony is a proof that the hosts have done a great job and made sure that the Olympic spirit will be cherished and celebrated in the years to come.

Mayor Skaka received the Ambassador of the Republic of France H. E. Guillaume Rousson

Mayor of Sarajevo Abdulah Skaka received the Ambassador of the Republic of France to BiH H.E. Guillaume Rousson. Skaka used this opportunity to thank the government and people of France for their assistance and support shown to Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina to date.

The Mayor informed the ambassador about the progress of developmental infrastructural projects in the city of Sarajevo, especially with the ongoing reconstruction of old and development of new facilities at Trebević Mountain, such as the development of ski slopes and cycling lanes, with the aim of completing the tourist offer of the biggest nature park in Sarajevo.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed the establishment and strengthening of cooperation between Sarajevo and Paris. In that regard, the ambassador said that he will assist in arranging a meeting between the mayors of the two capital cities.

Ambassador Rousson said that in little over a year from the beginning of his mandate he had the opportunity to get to know the charm of Sarajevo and expressed his satisfaction with the excellent results achieved in the field of tourism.

After the meeting, the French Ambassador had a tour of the premises of the ICTY Information Centre, where he was informed about the foundation and mandate of the Centre, and visited the exhibition „Siege of Sarajevo through the Rulings of the ICTY“ and the authentic courtroom of the Hague Tribunal.