July 14, 2022
The United States welcomes the decision of the Mostar City Council to rename six of the city’s streets. The change enhances Mostar’s international image and reputation, which had been tarnished by street names celebrating individuals unworthy of anyone’s praise, and that were at odds with the modern, open, and prosperous Mostar residents deserve and the city’s current leadership seeks to build. For some, the new solution will not be seen as ideal or perfect, but the perfection is not the goal; tolerance, consensus, and inclusiveness are.
The United States applauds the leadership of Mayor Mario Kordic and Speaker Salem Maric, who worked together to find a compromise and put the common good before narrow, nationalist political interests. Their leadership and their willingness to compromise are a sign of strength, and they should serve as an example for all Bosnia and Herzegovina’s political leaders, at every level of government. The United States is proud to stand with leaders who demonstrate the political courage to work together to deliver meaningful achievements for their constituents.
We also congratulate the members of Mostar’s City Council who supported the change in street names. We urge the Mayor, the Speaker, and the City Council to take the same pragmatic approach to other issues facing Mostar’s residents.
The leadership of Mayor Kordic and Speaker Maris as well as the decision of Mostar’s City Council serve as a powerful example that it is possible to break free from the past and work toward reconciliation. It is time for other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially Sarajevo and Banja Luka, to follow Mostar’s lead and change the names of streets in their communities that carry the names of the dishonorable.