Croatia, Serbia Urged to Drop Genocide Suits

Wednesday’s meeting between the Croatian and Serbian prime ministers raised hopes that counter-claims of genocide will be abandoned, a European Parliament rapporteur said.Zagreb and Belgrade should not ignore problems caused by their conflicts in the 1990s but try to solve them through dialogue, said the European Parliament’s rapporteur for Serbia, Jelko Kacin.

“I hope that both governments will continue to address the issue of missing persons and the return of refugees and that the accusations of genocide before the International Court [of Justice] in the Hague will be withdrawn soon,” Kacin said in a statement on his website on Thursday.

Croatia filed a genocide lawsuit against Serbia at the International Court of Justice in 1999 and Belgrade filed a countersuit in 2010.

At their meeting in Belgrade, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic agreed that the two countries must improve their currently tense relationship and address unresolved wartime issues.

Milanovic said on Thursday that he “went to Belgrade because it was the last time to break the wall of silence”.

“My job is to break down walls wherever I can, no matter who built them. In the interests of peace and stability, as well as our economy, we go wherever we can and talk to whoever we can,” he said.

But Serbian Foreign Minister Ivan Mrkic said he thought Croatia should withdraw its genocide suit against Serbia before Belgrade drops its claim.

“The Croats sued us first, and it would be normal for them to make the first move and drop
it, if we want to join EU together, ” Mrkic said in an interview.

Croatia is due to join the EU in July, while Serbia is hoping to obtain a date to open membership talks this year.

Relations between two countries deteriorated following the election of a nationalist coalition in Serbia last May.

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