Zeljko Komsic's fault is that he did not take part in a joint criminal enterprise, Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic told RTL's Damira Gregoret, on Monday, commenting on Croatian President Zoran Milanovic's statement that Bosnian Croat Presidency member is “a parasite do the detriment of Croats.”
The interview with Izetbegovic comes hours before his meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Zagreb, where he and Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic are invited for talks.
When asked why he came to Zagreb, Izetbegovic said he was there because he did not want the Croatian leadership to hear only the views of the Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik who was invited to Zagreb earlier this month where he stayed as "a Serb representative and not as Bosnian Presidency member" and that he would always answer Plenkovic's public invitation.
"As for Mr Milanovic, I think we will have to wait for him to meet with his colleagues, Bosnian partners, members of the Presidency. At this moment, it is Chairman Dzaferovic. It was not good at all and disrespectful towards Dzaferovic and towards Bosnian institutions and the constitutional order that he first met with Dodik,” Izetbegovic said.
He argued that the Bosnian Serb leader's policies are destabilizing, anti-integrational and bad, citing Dodik's decoration of general Lisica who shelled the Croatian city of Zadar during the war in Croatia.
When asked if he understood the Croat frustration with Zeljko Komsic's election for the Croat Presidency member over Dragan Covic, the leader of the centre-right Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), Izetbegovic said he does, but that Komsic was elected according to the Constitution and with the support of some 400,000 voters.
“Our Constitution says the Presidency consists of one Bosniak, one Serb and one Croat, not a Bosniak, Serb and Croat representative,” Izetbegovic clarified.
At this point, RTL's Gregoret cited Milanovic as saying “Komsic is a parasite to the detriment of Bosnian Croats,” to which Izetbegovic responded:
“That's a very ugly statement. Komsic received some 400,000 votes because he always stood on the right side. His only fault is that he didn't take part in a joint criminal enterprise and that he's not serving a sentence with Jadranko Prlic in the Hague, now. We shouldn't insult people.”
Jadranko Prlic is a Bosnian Croat politician who held the position of Prime Minister of the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia, an unrecognized entity within Bosnia In May 2013, Prlic was sentenced to 25 years by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for war crimes against Bosniaks during the country's 1992-1995 war.
“I came to change the atmosphere and paradigm in the mutual relations between Croatia and Bosnia, and Bosniaks and Croats. Every time we did that things went forward. Whenever Croats in Bosnia agreed with Serbs in the Balkans in general, only radical Serb nationalists profited. This has been empirically confirmed,” Izetbegovic confirmed.