"Declaration represents distancing from crimes"

BELGRADE -- Boris Tadić said that with the adoption of the Srebrenica declaration parliament and the Serb people are clearly distancing themselves from the monstrous crime.

Boris Tadić (Tanjug, file)
Boris Tadić (Tanjug, file)

The Serbian president said in Belgrade on Wednesday that the resolution shows that Serbia does not stand behind the crimes, and that is why the adoption is important for Serbia and its citizens, adding that it is an expression of patriotism and contributes to regional reconciliation.

“I believe that this resolution contributes greatly to the democratization of Serbia and regional reconciliation. I am sorry that it was not adopted earlier, but my then visit to Srebrenica and this resolution speak clearly on the political values of Serbia and how we see our region, our neighbors and out united European future,” Tadić said.

He said that the resolution does not include the word “genocide” because the parliament was dealing with a political act, not a legal qualification.

“There was no pressure from any international organization or institution to adopt the resolution for Srebrenica. It was our decision, the decision of the Serbian people. Serbia does this for itself,” Tadić said.

Socialist Party of Serbia leader and Interior Minister Ivica Dačić said that the resolution stresses state and national interests and protects the Republic of Srpska.

He said that the resolution for condemning war crimes committed against Serbs and other ethnicities during the war will be discussed by the parliament after the Eater holidays, once it has been drafted.

Dačić said that he believes that the second resolution will be acceptable for a large number of MPs.

He added that the authors of the resolution “are the same people who wrote the first resolution,” and repeated that the stance of his party is that all crimes that were committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia should be condemned.

Serbia has made a great step forward by passing the declaration condemning the crime in Srebrenica, Serbia's Minister of Labor and Social Policy Rasim Ljajić stated on Wednesday, and added that the regional countries are expected to condemn the crimes against Serbs, which will be another step forward toward reconciliation.

Ljajić told Tanjug that the process of regional reconciliation will be neither easy nor quick, especially not in times of the economic crisis.

“In times when the country is faced with a strong financial and social crisis, some political parties think that they can improve their ratings with rhetoric of past,” said Ljajić, who is the founder of the Sandžak Democratic Party which has four MPs in the Serbian parliament.

The minister thinks that the declaration was not passed because of the international community, and added that Serbia should not do anything just because someone asks for it.

“Serbia passed the declaration because of its own interests, and by that the country claimed the right to the place it is entitled to as the leading regional country,” Ljajić is convinced.