I want to be the President of All Croats in Croatia and Bosnia, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said after a series of controversial statements marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Croatian Defence Council (HVO) in Mostar, on Friday.
“I want to be the President of all Croats in Croatia and Croats in BiH. It is my call of consciousness and conscience. We have no prejudices against Serbs as aggressors from the last war, nor towards Bosniaks. There is no BiH without Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks. It is the holy trinity. For this to work, we must stick to agreements and promises,” Milanovic said, falsely adding that “Croatia is one of the guarantors of Dayton [Peace Agreement]” and that “Dayton was the way to end the war and a way for BiH to survive.
The 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was stopped with the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement whose signatories are Bosnia, Croatia and the then Yugoslavia, today’s Serbia.
The witnesses to the signing of the Agreement are the EU, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.
Milanovic then said he would choose his words carefully so as not to be misinterpreted and added that those gathered proved to be decent and cultured.
“I know that every word I say will be measured as friendly or hostile. My message to our partners in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Brussels… All those who are sceptical about BiH and the role of the HVO in the war as a victorious army, with small mistakes, which must not be grounds for guilt – all those who have doubts in Croatia should come to see it, and admire it,” the President of Croatia said.
The leader of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) the strongest Bosnian Croat Party in the country, Dragan Covic also spoke at the event thanking Milanovic for coming to Mostar on the 30th anniversary of the HVO.
“You have seen the atmosphere here at the mention of your name. This is how you are greeted today among all Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Covic told Milanovic.
“I am convinced that this gathering today and the atmosphere we have these days sends a very clear message. I am sure that all that we will experience today can be transmitted throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, perhaps among those who see our 30 years and the way we live in BiH and our contribution to having BiH today, differently. I would like to thank you for all the wisdom you had thirty years ago – thanks for your courage, determination and audacity, but also for all the noble things that the HVO did during the war, as well as for the peace it won. We have celebrated our anniversary these days in every part of our Posavina region and Bosnia, central Bosnia and throughout Herzegovina,” Dragan Covic said.