The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn have called on all parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina not to escalate the situation after the country's Constitutional Court banned a referendum on marking Republika Srpska Day.
All parties should refrain from activities that might lead to an escalation of the situation, Mogherini and Hahn said in a joint statement circulated to the media in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday.
The two EU officials said this was necessary so as not to divert attention from the country's progress towards members of the European Union. They noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina had begun crucial reforms for tackling economic and social problems facing it.
The issue of Republika Srpska Day should not and must not divert the attention of Bosnia and Herzegovina from this very important business, the statement said.
Mogherini and Hahn called on institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina to resolve this issue and respect the rule of law through the existing constitutional framework and constructive dialogue.
The Constitutional Court on Saturday temporarily banned the holding of the referendum, confirming that Republika Srpska Day was unconstitutional. Authorities in the Republika Srpska, the country's Serb entity, responded by saying that the referendum would be held on September 25 as planned.
Meanwhile, international institutions present in Bosnia and Herzegovina have threatened the RS authorities that they will suffer consequences if the referendum is held.