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Dr. Matt Rhodes, Professor of National Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, introduces panel members during the opening of the two-day seminar to discuss Middle East and North Africa Security Challenges facing southeast Europe Feb. 17. (Marshall Center photo by Barbara Wither/RELEASED)

SARAJEVO (Feb. 17, 2016) -  The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and U.S. Embassy Sarajevo, are holding a seminar to discuss Middle East and North Africa Security Challenges facing southeast Europe, Feb. 17 and 18 at the Bristol Hotel. 

Today saw the opening of the two- day workshop.

Both the U.S. and German Ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Maureen Cormack and Dr. Christian Hellbach, opened the event. 

The U.S. Ambassador stressed migration issues as playing a major role in the security of the region while the German Ambassador said that the Balkans were fully exposed to the Middle East conflict when it comes to foreign fighters. He also stressed the need for further reform in BiH to move forward in the integration process.

The 61 workshop participants and speakers come from Albania, BiH, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, the UK and the US.  In these two days they will take part  in lectures, panel discussions and breakout group discussions with recommendations presented at the conclusion.

The purpose of this Marshall Center outreach event is to help strengthen the understanding of security challenges among regional government executives in southeast Europe with a focus on recent events in the Middle East and North Africa, to include the increased threat of extremism. 

The seminar will consist of presentations by subject matter experts, interactive panel discussions, and small-group, break-out sessions. 

The Marshall Center conducts around 25 events each year in the region to examine the most current security issues.