Serbian PM says Serb-Bosniak relations crucial for peace in region

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in Mostar on Tuesday, after talks with Bosniak member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina collective Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic, that Serbian and Bosniak relations were critical for reconciliation in Southeast Europe, while Izetbegovic said that for now there was no new evidence for Bosnia to launch a new genocide suit against Serbia after verdicts for Radovan Karadzic and Vojislav Seselj had been handed down.

"We had an open, honest and not easy conversation. The conclusion for both of us, and Bakir can prove me wrong, is that in the coming period we should intensify contacts, talks, dialogue, because we believe that Serbian-Bosniak relations are the backbone for the survival of Western Balkans ... for peace and security in the entire region," Vucic said after the meeting held on the fringes of the International Economic Forum Mostar 2016.

Vucic said "voices must be lowered" and the problems of Serbs and Bosniaks need to be resolved peacefully. "Serbs and Bosniaks live together in both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina," Vucic said.

Izetbegovic said there was no collective responsibility of the Serb people for the past tragic war events, saying that the question of Bosnia's new genocide suit against Serbia was not something he could answer. 

Asked about Croatia's announced blockade of Chapter 23, Vucic said Serbia would continue to behave in accordance with the European spirit.

"Croatia decides whether it will block Serbia's path to the EU or not, but Serbia will behave in accordance with the European practice and in the spirit of good-neighbourly relations," Vucic said. He added that all three countries -- Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia -- have an obligation to create stability and security for their citizens.

He also commented on incidents involving the forced removal of signs written in the Cyrillic script from public buildings in Croatia, saying that this was not happening in Serbia.

"Nobody in Serbia is destroying signs written in the Latin script. I am proud that this is not happening in Serbia and should something like that ever happen, state bodies would condemn it and punish the perpetrators," Vucic said after talks with Serb member of the Bosnian Presidency Mladen Ivanic.

Vucic held separate talks with Croat member of the presidency Dragan Covic, who said there was no reason for the relations between the three peoples and countries not to get better.

Last update: Tue, 12/04/2016 - 19:41

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