Croatian President: Dodik is our partner in Bosnia

NEWS 17.01.2022 20:03
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Source: Zoran Milanović (N1)

Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Monday the Serb member of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Milorad Dodik, was a Croatian partner in BiH and that the problem of the Bosniaks outvoting the Croats could not be solved without the Serbs.

“Republika Srpska, i.e. Dodik, is our partner in this turmoil. Who doesn't understand that either doesn't understand or is rotten,” Milanovic told the press about the fact that Milorad Pupovac, a member of the parliamentary majority in Croatia and president of the Serb National Council, attended a ceremony marking Republika Srpska Day, which the BiH Constitutional Court ruled is an unconstitutional holiday.

Milanovic said that was “irrelevant” because Pupovac “doesn't represent anyone (but) a handful of his pals.”

Dodik “didn't get his hands bloody in the war” and is “a legitimate representative of the Serb People and Republika Srpska in the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which we respect and will always respect,” he added.

“We don't see that the Serb policy is causing problems for the Croats. Without the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we won't solve this problem if we care about solving it, and I do care. Some evidently don't care enough,” Milanovic said, alluding to the demand of BiH Croats and Croatia that the BiH electoral law be changed to prevent the more numerous Bosniaks from outvoting the Croats in elections for the Croat member of the BiH Presidency and House of Peoples’ members.

Milanovic said BiH Serbs “could not have chosen a worse” day to celebrate the day of their entity, adding that it was “chosen wrongly and insults some people.”

“The problem is that thousands of Croats and many more Muslims were killed in Republika Srpska. One simply has to reconcile with that.”

However, he added, the Bosnian Serb entity is “a fact” which was “in some way verified in Dayton.” He said former Croatian president Franjo Tudjman was one of the signatories of the peace agreement signed there in 1995. “There is no going back, unless another war breaks out.”

Milanovic said that although “wrong, bad and silly songs” were sung during the Republika Srpska Day ceremony in Banja Luka on 9 January, he was more interested in the status of BiH Croats. “While we are talking about which songs were sung in Banja Luka, Croats are being deprived of two things, the House of Peoples and the Presidency.”

The issue of the House of Peoples, which might make it possible to form a government without Croat representatives, is more important than the Presidency, he said. That is an attempt to “completely disenfranchise” the Croats because they need control over the House of Peoples “to protect fundamental national interests.”

Commenting on a recent meeting between Bakir Izetbegovic, president of the biggest Bosniak party in BiH, and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Dubrovnik, Milanovic said Izetbegovic's policy was dishonest and that he did the same thing when he was received by Milanovic in September. “The same story as before. We and the Croats. The Serbs are a foreign factor.”

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