Croatia unhappy with Jeremić address

Serbia’s foreign minister “took advantage” of a statement in which Croatian President Ivo Josipović “expressed regret” during his visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

This is according to the Croatian Foreign and European Integrations Ministry Spokesman Mario Dragun.

Vuk Jeremić’s address on Wednesday in Ancona, Italy, to the Adriatic-Ionian Council, has caused reactions of the Croatian diplomacy and the media.

The Serbian FM said regarding Josipović’s recent statement: “We’re encouraged by expressions of deep regret over the policy under (1990s Croatian President Franjo) Tuđman which led to suffering and divisions (in Bosnia).”

The Croatian MFA spokesman said that the “Serbian policy in this way abused the Croatian president’s statement of regret”.

“We’ve been expecting this strategy at the Foreign Ministry and we’ll know how to respond to it,” said Dragun.

“All other speakers were turned toward the future, cooperation and integration into the EU, except for Minister Jeremić who mostly spoke in a hostile manner about the past and topics for which there was no room at such a meeting,” the spokesman continued.

As for Josipović, he reacted only by saying: “That’s Vuk Jeremić’s interpretation and I don’t have anything to add to that.”

When Josipović made the trip to Bosnia last month, and addressed the parliament in Sarajevo, there was controversy in Croatia on whether his statements constituted for an apology, or expression of regret.

At the meeting of foreign ministers of Italy, Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania and deputy FM of Greece yesterday in Ancona, Italy, Jeremić pointed out that now was the most favorable moment for the peoples of the Balkans to team up as partners, in both peace and reconciliation, and create better future for a free and united Europe.

“Serbia is entirely committed to working, together with its two key neighbors – Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina – on establishming of total reconciliation and permanent stability,“ the Serbian FM said.

“We must never forget history, but we must also never allow it to limit our ability to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future for all of us,“ he concluded.

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