Spat Between Nikolic and Izetbegovic Continues

The Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, says that his remarks about Bosnia have been taken out of context, adding that Serbia has contributed greatly to the regional stability.Referring to an open letter sent to him on Tuesday by the Bosniak member of the Bosnian Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, the Serbian president said that some politicians in the region are trying to falsify his words in order to gain popularity with the international community.

“Some politicians in the region think they can become more important in the eyes of the West, by falsifying my words and taking them out of context in order to present Serbia’s politics in a bad light,” Nikolic said on Wednesday during his meeting with the US Ambassador to Serbia, Michael Kirby.

“The latest example is yesterday’s letter from Bakir Izetbegovic,” Nikolic added.

He pointed out that Serbia achieved a lot when it comes to stability in the region and that the state policy in that area will not change.

In his letter, Izetbegovic accused Nikolic of irrevocably harming the relations between Bosnia and Serbia after Nikolic questioned viability of Bosnia as a state in an interview for a Macedonian TV.

“I am not rejecting the fact that the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is Sarajevo. We do not have that right given that we accepted the Dayton Agreement according to which Bosnia is the state of two entities. However, 17 years after the agreement the international community failed to establish a functioning state in Bosnia,” Nikolic said in the interview aired on October 21.

“It is disappearing before our very eyes, but as long as the state of Bosnia exists and as long as it is recognised by the international community, for me Sarajevo will remain its capital “ he added.

Clarifying his statements following the criticism, Nikolic said he only shared his concerns over Bosnia’s future, as the state is not functioning well, which is, according to Nikolic, also the opinion of the international community.

In his letter, Izetbegovic said that because of Nikolic’s continued insults to the Bosnian people he has cancelled their planned meeting at the fringes of a summit to be held in Turkey in November.

However, Nikolic claims that the meeting with Izetbegovic was never agreed and that he had declined his invitation for the summit in Turkey last week.

Tomislav Nikolic’s claim that Bosnia and Herzegovina is slowly dying is only the latest in a series of controversial public statements that he has made since taking office in June this year.

Previously, he has reiterated on several occasions that the murder of over 7,000 Bosniaks in July 1995 in Srebrenica is not genocide, and, according to the local media reports, in an interview for a German newspapers in May, he called the Croatian city of Vukovar ‘a Serbian city’ where displaced Croats should not return.

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