To the Editor NYT :
â€œWhile Europe Sleeps, Bosnia Seethesâ€ (Week in Review, Sept. 6) paints a picture of Bosnia and Herzegovina that few of its citizens will recognize.
Although it has become unfashionable to say so, ours is a country at peace. The leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina are democratically elected, its people are working to regain living standards they enjoyed before the 1992-95 war, and it has a single military, responsible to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
We have been affected by the international financial crisis, although I am proud to say that the impact has been less in the entity that I serve as prime minister than in the rest of the country.
Every elected political leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the countryâ€™s candidacy for membership in the European Union, an aspiration shared by the majority of Bosnian citizens. Although grass-roots support for NATO membership is weaker, it remains an objective for the countryâ€™s political leaders.
It should be neither surprising nor a cause for alarm that people of good will differ about the structure most appropriate for this new state. Many of us believe that a decentralized architecture is both more faithful to the Dayton Accords and more suitable for the country. We do not support the centralized model that some in the international community have sought to impose on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Although we continue working on the institutional shape of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is absolutely no threat of a return to violence. We look forward to the transition from â€œprotectorateâ€ status under the Office of the High Representative to a European Union-led mission.
The time has come for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina and their democratically elected leaders to be given full responsibility for their future and to put aside the alarmist cries of those who would make this country a permanent dependency of the international community.
Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sept. 18, 2009
The writer is prime minister of the Republika Srpska, an entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.