Vučić: Srebrenica was horrendous crime

BELGRADE -- First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić stated for Sarajevo-based daily Dnevni Avaz that it is time to admit the mistakes from the past.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

He also said it was time "to restore trust between the peoples of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina in the interest of the future."

“The time has come for all of us who made mistakes in the past not to be ashamed to admit our political mistakes, I have no problem with that and if you asked me I want to speak about that,” Vučić said.

“To tell you frankly, I think that today in Serbia there is no hatred against Bosniaks. Not at all,” he underlined, adding that he would love if it were the same in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but that he is not certain, and that he would love to be like that in Republika Srpska (RS) as well.

“Considering things rationally, thinking about economy, about future, thinking about what we could do together, which are the international tenders in which we can participate together, which are the joint projects we could undertake - this is the path we should take,” Vučić said.

Asked whether he intends to go to Srebrenica, Vučić said that this is not a problem, but that before that he would like to speak to people so that his visit would not be misinterpreted as provocation.

However, he thinks that the key thing for all of us is to think about future, and that we will not be able to do that until we talk about the past.

“I do not want to hide behind anyone who committed this horrendous crime in the name of the people I belong to. Horrifying, gruesome crime which is so horrible that one could be ashamed that someone who took part in it belongs to one's people,” the deputy prime minister said.

“Are Serbs like that because of what happened in Srebrenica or Bosniaks are like that because of what happened at other places, on the Mt. Ozren where Serbs were beheaded,” Vučić asked.

The perpetrators will have to be held responsible for these atrocious crimes, and unfortunately we will need a lot of time to rebuild mutual trust, Vučić said.

Vučić said that it was not easy for him to visit Kosovska Mitrovica where he was once welcomed as a hero, but now comes across shouts that he is a traitor, adding that nevertheless he told everyone that the Brussels agreement is good for them, for the entire Serbia and its future and relations with Albanians.

When it comes to relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina and inside of it, Vučić underlined that he has no problem to say that in Serbia's eyes the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina exists and the RS exists in line with the Dayton Treaty.

“Because of my origin, I consider myself a Serb from the western side of the Drina River. That is the same people, but that does not mean that one people should live in one state. We have two states here, there is Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,” he said.