Although Croatia’s President denied she said during a visit to Israel that Bosnia is controlled by militant Islamists, the Serb member of the tripartite Presidency said on Thursday that there would be grounds to make such a statement.
Before it was retracted, a Jerusalem Post news report that claimed that, during her visit to Israel, Croatia’s President called Bosnia an unstable country influenced by militant Islamists caused an uproar in Sarajevo.
Bosnia’s Croat member of the tripartite Presidency, Zeljko Komsic, fired back, saying President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was unstable and he summoned Croatia’s Ambassador in the country for an urgent meeting.
His Bosniak colleague, Sefik Dzaferovic, said Zagreb’s policy toward Bosnia had “elements of fascism.”
Grabar Kitarovic denied she ever said something like this and the paper corrected the article which had already angered Bosnians.
Israel’s Ambassador to Croatia, Ilan Mor, wrote on social media the same day that he is disappointed the Croatian President’s statements were “taken out of context.”
Grabar-Kitarovic had a “very successful visit” to Israel, he wrote.
“I participated in all her meetings with Israeli leaders. I am deeply disappointed that some of her alleged statements were taken out of context, which overshadowed a very productive and fruitful presidential visit to Israel,” his statement said.
However, Bosnian Serb member of the Presidency, Milorad Dodik, who has in the past said he wished Bosnia would fall apart and its Serb-dominated region would declare independence, said he agrees with the claim that “Bosnia and Herzegovina is an unstable, impossible and unsustainable country.”
“It is not unknown that most of those in Europe who joined the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria were from Bosnia, as well as the fact that there were several terrorist attacks here,” Dodik said, stressing that this does not mean that Muslims are terrorists.
Grabar-Kitarovic had enough reason to state what she allegedly stated, he said.
“I don’t think this was said without reason. Her revelation of facts from the past probably motivated her to make such a statement,” he said, adding that Croatia has in the past enabled “4,500 mujahedin to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina and commit atrocious crimes.”
For the first eight months since the October 2018 election, Dodik was the Chairman of the tripartite Presidency, which has a rotating structure. His Croat colleague, Zeljko Komsic, became chairman on July 20.
Dodik argued that Bosnia did much better when he was Chairman.
“I see that since yesterday they are in total conflict with the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic,” he said.