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Bosnia and Herzegovina's Ambassador to the U.S. to Speak at the University Tuesday

October 28, 2010 — The University of Virginia welcomes Bosnia and Herzegovina's ambassador to the United States on Tuesday to discuss his country's efforts to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union.

Ambassador Mitar Kujundzic's talk, "Bosnia Herzegovina: The Path to NATO and the European Union," is free and open to the public. It takes place at 3:30 p.m. in the South Lawn auditorium in Nau Hall.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was one of six federal units of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. It gained independence following the Yugoslav wars in the early 1990s. Since then the country has worked to rebuild its economy, resettle hundreds of thousands of refugees, settle ethnic tensions among Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, and quell early corruption within in its tripartite presidency.

As it makes progress on these fronts, Bosnia and Herzegovina is striving for membership in NATO and the EU.

The Eastern European nation has been a candidate for NATO membership since April, when it was given a "Membership Action Plan" – the final step before given full membership to the military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a potential candidate for membership in the EU, which is an economic and political union of nearly 30 mainly European states.

The Ambassadors' Speakers Forum is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs. Brazil's ambassador to the United States, Mauro Vieira, will speak Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. in the South Lawn auditorium.

— By Jane Kelly

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