Croatian FM says Serbia must face past on road to EU

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Tuesday that Serbia would have to face the truth about the 1990s wars and abolish regional jurisdiction for war crimes if it wanted to join the European Union and have fair relations with Croatia.

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that many years would pass before somebody in Croatia realised that its 1995 Operation Storm was "the biggest ethnic cleansing in Europe since World War II" and that it was indicative that the Hague war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had convicted 60 Serbs, 11 Croats and six Bosniaks.

"It's very important to start facing the past, who started the wars on the territory of the former Yugoslavia," Kovac told RTL television. "I suppose Serbia will take that path and that we will have the basis for fair relations," he said, citing the example of Germany and France.

Kovac reiterated that Serbia must abolish jurisdiction for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia and ensure the rights of the Croat minority if it wanted to join the EU. "We are an EU member state and have the right and the obligation to watch over Serbia's accession negotiations... Serbia will have to amend its legislation and can't have jurisdiction over war crimes in the ex-Yugoslavia."

Croatia has warned that it will block the opening of negotiation chapter 23 in Serbia's EU entry talks unless it meets those requirements.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

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