The US Embassy in Sarajevo, for the second time in last few weeks, refused to issue a visa to RS president, Milorad Dodik, who claimed that he will attend the inauguration of new US president, Donald Trump.
Dodik’s Office issued a press release confirming that he did not get a visa to enter the United States, where he was to “attend the festivities on the occasion of the inauguration of the new US president Donald Trump”.
“The President of RS Milorad Dodik thanked for the invitation that he received to participate in a ceremony marking the inauguration of the newly elected President of the United States Donald Trump. He informed organizes of ceremony that, unfortunately, he had to cancel the announced arrival, because only a few days before the trip he was not granted a visa to enter the US”, said the Office in the release.
The statement said that the visit to the United States requires several days to prepare and that refusal of the visa made impossible to make timely proper preparations. Dodik Office said that RS president expects that he will be with the people in the new US administration in the near future and that delaying the meeting for these reasons will not prevent him from building constructive relations and better understanding.
A few weeks ago, when Dodik announced that he received the invitation for the inauguration, the US Embassy refused to issue a diplomatic visa for travel in Washington, because he will not represent the state BiH on the ceremony. A few days after the refusal, when it became clear that the invitation is not for the inauguration ceremony than for an event just linked with the inauguration, Dodik applied for a visa as an ordinary citizen, but it was refused again.
Instead of Dodik, another representative from BiH is more possible to attend the events linked with the inauguration ceremony. It is Marinko Umicevic, the general manager of “BEMA” shoe factory, who sent two pairs of shoes to Melania Trump, a few months ago. He told the media that he doesn’t sleep since he received the phone call and, right after that, the invitation to one of the inauguration parties.
“On a Monday evening, I got a phone call from the agency that said it was organizing the humanitarian inaugural ball. They said that I’d caused them troubles. Apparently, I was invited to the VIP ball, but they forgot to send me an invitation earlier”, Umicevic told the media.
The sleeplessness was caused by the “new problems that arose” after that phone call. First, as Umicevic said, he must figure out what kind of present to give Melania, what to buy for her. He added that he doesn’t care much about Donald Trump, but wants to bring something nice to Melania. He said that he asked to bring somebody along on this important trip and, when affirmative answer came, he suggested – RS president Milorad Dodik.
“My wife didn’t like that. She is angry now and she doesn’t want to iron my shirts anymore”, Umicevic said with a smile and added that he must prepare a lot of things. A few days before invitation, Umicevic received a shirt and tie directly from Melania Trump.
This controversial manager of the one of the most successful factories in BiH, said that many customers asked him to make them shoes identical to the ones that were sent to Melania but that he refused since he doesn’t want to “use her name in the marketing purposes”.
For now it is for sure that BiH Ambassador to USA, Haris Hrle, as all other ambassadors in Washington, have a valid invitation for inauguration. But, in a small country such as BiH, even an invitation to some side event became a political issue./IBNA