The talks covered a range of international issues with added emphasis on stability in Bosnia, bilateral ties and the need to boost Saudi investment in that country.
During his one-day visit to Riyadh, Silajdzic was received by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, at Al-Yamamah Palace.
The Bosnian president also called on Riyadh Gov. Prince Salman, who has been playing a major role in extending aid to Bosnia.
“Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, who separately called on Silajdzic, discussed with the visiting president a range of bilateral issues including Ganic’s arrest for alleged war crimes,” said Bosnian Ambassador Razim Cholich.
Ganic was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport at the behest of Serbia on March 1 and released on bail last Thursday.
Asked about the details of the talks on the Ganic issue or political tensions that have flared up after the collapse of the talks on constitutional reforms in Bosnia, the envoy said: “I can only tell you this much.”
Silajdzic, on his part, openly criticized the British government for allegedly mistreating Ganic while under arrest, according to a report. He even flew to London to express his support for the ex-president before visiting Riyadh. While in London, Silajdzic met British Foreign Secretary David Miliband. But it is unclear whether Ganic will be repatriated to Bosnia or extradited elsewhere. The report said that Serb presidency member Nebojsa Radmanovic has even threatened to quit the government due to Bosnian support for Ganic.
Referring to the wide-ranging talks between Silajdzic and Saudi officials, Ambassador Cholich said that the two sides evinced keen interest to promote economic relations. He added that the Bosnian president met with Yousef Al-Bassam, managing director and vice chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). The SFD, an apex Saudi aid agency that has financed several projects in Bosnia, is likely to extend aid or loans for new projects in different parts of the country, said an official source.
Silajdzic called on Saudi investors to visit Bosnia. He requested Saudi businessmen, major Saudi companies and all interested parties to participate in the first “Sarajevo Business Forum 2010” to be held on April 5 and 6 this year. The forum will be held under the patronage of Silajdzic and attended by a number of heads of states and businessmen including Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, and IDB President Ahmad Mohamed Ali.
Saudi Arabia has been a major donor country for Bosnia. Riyadh has provided financial support for the construction and repair of a large number of mosques, schools and hospitals in the country.
More than 1,200 mosques were razed or badly damaged during the war of 1992-96. Their demolition was part of an undertaking to destroy the pluralistic nature of Bosnian society and culture.

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