The reception organized by the President and Prime Minister of Croatia Zoran Milanovic and Andrej Plenkovic for Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik carries the danger of further destabilization of the situation in Bosnia, the strongest Bosniak Party, Democratic Action Party (SDA) announced on Wednesday.
As stated, the complete circumvention of Bosnian institutions and the country's tripartite Presidency Chairman is a harmful message of official Zagreb towards our country.
“It is extremely harmful that the President of Croatia ignores the invitation of Bosnia's Presidency to exchange visits, and at the same time receives (Serb Presidency member Milorad) Dodik who constantly threatens the division of the country, blocks the work of state institutions and its Euro-Atlantic path, insults Bosniaks and Croats calling them ustashas and balijas, and denies them their right to legitimate representatives in the government of (the country's Serb-dominated) Republika Srpska (RS) entity.”
Milorad Dodik is the leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) in Bosnia's RS region, which is a semi-autonomous entity where the SNSD holds a majority. During a discussion in the RS Parliament, in September 2020, an opposition candidate for the Mayor of Banja Luka, the entity's administrative centre, Drasko Stanivukovic, suggested that the city should raise a monument to three unknown soldiers, each representing warring sides in the 1992-1995 Bosnian war (Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs), to which Dodik accused him of wanting to make a monument to Ustashas and Balijas, pejorative names for Croats and Bosniaks often used in the region.
The SDA called on the President and Prime Minister of Croatia to keep in mind the exceptional importance of relations between Bosnia and Croatia, as well as Bosniaks and Croats, and not to send messages which would introduce additional mistrust and disrupt relations between the two countries and two peoples.
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik will stay in Zagreb on Wednesday where he will meet with the President of Croatia Zoran Milanovic and the country's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.
The meeting was previously condemned by Bosniak and Croat members of the Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic and Zeljko Komsic who said that Dodik is in a private visit which has nothing to do with the Presidency.