Serbian President Boris Tadic said that Serbia and Croatia have talked about finding a solution that could allow an out-of-court settlement and trials before regular courts to replace the genocide lawsuits the two countries have filed against one another at the International Court of Justice, ICJ.
Addressing reporters at the 65th anniversary of the escape attempt by prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp on Sunday, Tadic said that there is a desire to achieve a solution that would enable legal proceedings to be carried out against those who committed crimes, but that would not in any way question the rights of victims.
“The president of Croatia, Ivo Josipovic, and I talked about it [an out-of-court solution to the problem] during the last meeting and [we are] now looking for a modality that would not deny legal order or protect criminals at any cost.”
Croatia filed a genocide lawsuit against Serbia at the ICJ in 1999, and Belgrade filed a countersuit on January 4, 2010.
The presidents of the two countries mentioned for the first time at their meeting in the Croatian coastal town of Opatija in March that an out-of-court settlement could be the solution to the genocide lawsuits.
On Sunday Tadic noted that in the past few days he had had talks with Josipovic on how to take steps forward in inter-state and inter-ethnic relations. It was announced that Tadic will open an economy fair in Mostar, Bosnia, and he is scheduled to meet with Josipovic there as well as at a trilateral meeting in Hungary.
“In the next ten days we will have one or two meetings in order to cover the topics that we discussed in Opatija, Croatia,” he added.
Croatian Ambassador to Serbia Zeljko Kupresak recently said that Serbian and Croatian governments need to discuss the possibility of withdrawing the genocide lawsuits as it is of great importance for relations between the two neighbours.
“We must do everything to prove we are able to solve our own problems without mediation,” Serbian daily Blic quoted the ambassador as saying.