President in BH

Josipovic lays wreath at monument to children war victims

14.04.2010 u 19:45


During his two-day official visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic on Wednesday laid a wreath at the monument erected in memory of more than 1,300 children killed in artillery and sniper attacks during the Serb siege of the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo from 1992 to 1995.

On the second day of his stay in Bosnia, Josipovic will travel to Ahmici and Krizancevo Selo to pay his respects to local victims of war. The Bosnian Croat Defence Council (HVO) forces killed over 100 Bosnian Muslim (Bosniak) villagers in April 1993, and the predominately Bosniak Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina killed local Croats in the village of Krizancevo Selo in December that year.

Confirming in his address to the press on Wednesday morning that he would travel to Ahmici and Krizancevo Selo on Thursday to pay tribute to victims in those villages from the last war, Josipovic said this did not mean that he ignored the victims on the Serb side.

"For me, victims are victims regardless of their ethnicity, and criminals are criminals regardless of their ethnicity," Josipovic said adding that he would certainly visit the execution sites of Bosnian Serbs.

However, the programme of his official visit to Bosnia was criticised by Bosnian Serb politician Nikola Spiric, who serves as the country's Prime Minister.

Accusing Josipovic of ignoring Serb victims, Spiric was quoted by the Bosnian Serb entity's media as saying that the success of the incumbent Croatian president's policy would be measured by the way for settling the status of Serbs in Croatia.

He said that he had not met with Josipovic in Sarajevo as he had been informed of his arrival only a few days before.

He also described the Croatian president's visit to Bosnia as being the visit "of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia to Social Democratic Party in Bosnia".

Responding to this criticism, the SDP in Bosnia-Herzegovina branded Spiric's statement as an uncivilised and inappropriate attack against the head of state of a friendly neighbouring country.

The SDP BiH said that this was also an attempt by the SNSD political party led by the Serb entity's Prime Minister Milorad Dodik to mark the period ahead of the general elections in Bosnia with nationalistic incidents.

A part of SNSD lawmakers did not attend today's session of the Bosnian parliament at which Josipovic gave a talk.

SNSD MP Slavko Jovicic, who attended the session, dismissed the interpretations that SNSD representatives had boycotted Josipovic's address.

Jovicic added that Josipovic's speech was good and well-balanced.

During his stay in Sarajevo, Josipovic held a meeting with the international community's High Representative, Valentin Inzko.

The two officials agreed that Bosnia's sovereignty was indisputable and repudiated any comments on possibility for separation within that country or secession of any of its parts.

Inzko thanked Croatia for its support to Bosnia-Herzegovina adding that it was important as Croatia was the region's leader when it comes to European integration processes.