PM suggests joint remembrance day for ex-Yugoslav countries

Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic has announced he would suggest "to all leaders of former Yugoslavia countries to mark a joint day of remembrance for the victims."

Source: B92

In his words, "this would be a joint day when all nations would remember all victims of the wars in these regions, regardless of their ethnicity."

"We cannot live on hatred and on digging up of all wounds," Vucic said while addressing reporters in Belgrade on Friday.

The Serbian prime minister then, in reference to the 20th anniversary of Croatia's Operation Storm campaign, stressed he was pleased with the way Serbia on Wednesday marked "20 years since the tragedy when thousands of Serbs were killed and expelled."

"We did not insult or threaten anyone during the events organized by the state. There were no incidents, we treated with respect both our neighbors and the victims," he said.

He then appealed on citizens "to turn to real problems and economic reforms" so that "regional political stability is preserved and the reconciliation process continued."

When a Tanjug news agency reporter asked whether it was true that President Tomislav Nikolic - who led the SNS party before he was elected to office - now plans to form a new party, Vucic, who is the current leader of the ruling Progressives (SNS) said that he "has faith" in Nikolic.

"I'm sure the last thing on his mind is to form any kind of political party. I am convinced of this because he has always behaved fairly, and never criticized our fiscal consolidation measures... I don't deal with political parties, I have a lot of problems in the country, a lot of problems that we face, for me to be dealing with parties" - said the prime minister.

He was then asked about Croatia's protest note sent on Thursday, that mentioned Nikolic's statements.

"The president certainly had not desire to spoil our relations, but when one send demarches, one must be careful... Don't you think we could have sent some statements in our protest note? Some have been lecturing us, they behave as if they were America in relation to Serbia, but they are far from it. We gloss over it, for the sake of relations in the region, but sending protest notes over each statement we dislike is pretty meaningless. Serbia protested because the official (Operation Storm celebration in Croatia) heard (Ustasha) chants like, "For Home: Ready," and "Kill Serb." Something of the kind was not heard during the gatherings held in Serbia and speaks about the Serb magnitude," Vucic stressed.

Asked about the "Kill (DS leader) Bojan Pajtic"graffiti that appeared in Novi Sad recently, he said:

"I won't go into the whole story about who took a swim, and where. The problem is the graffiti, but I'm not sure everyone will be pleased with the results of the investigation. Nobody is allowed to threaten anyone with death in Serbia. We don't mind that they don't care when somebody else is in danger. Is this about real threats or political games - the investigation will show," Vucic concluded.

Politics

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