Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik accused Turkey Monday of interfering in Bosnia’s internal political affairs and Ancara of acting in favor of Bosnian Muslims.
“We resent the fact that Turkey wants a unified and centralized Bosnia, favoring only one of the peoples” living in the country, Dodik told Bosnian state radio from Israel, following talks with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Dodik said he had told Lieberman that the Bosnian Serb community “resented Turkey’s strong presence in Bosnia motivated only by support for the Bosnian Muslims, without any willingness to comprehend the context in which Bosnia exists.”
“I told the minister that it is not possible to accept an intermediary role by Turkey,” he said, without elaborating.
The 1992-1995 Bosnian conflict left the country split into two semi-independent entities–the Serbs’ Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation–each having its own government.
They are united only by weak central institutions.
Bosnian Serb leaders have constantly opposed further centralization, as demanded by the Muslims–who are a majority in Bosnia as a whole and seek to dominate.
Serbs say such a process would reduce their autonomy.
During his visit to Israel, Dodik was to meet President Shimon Peres later Monday in Jerusalem.
Relations between Turkey and Israel have severely deteriorated since Israeli commandos intercepted on a humanitarian flotilla heading for Gaza on May 31, when nine Turks were killed.