Croat president: Meeting with Nikolić "not possible"

ZAGREB -- Croatian President Ivo Josipović has responded to a statement made by his Serbian counterpart Tomislav Nikolić about "Croatia not wanting to meet with Serbia".

Ivo Josipović (FoNet, file)
Ivo Josipović (FoNet, file)

According to Josipović, "all the more so after that statement, a meeting is not possible".

"It's hard to imagine that in the light of such statements a meeting of the two presidents would be successful. We'll meet when we are confident that we can send a positive message," he told Croatia's state broadcaster HRT, according to the Zagreb daily Jutarnji List.

The newspaper also noted that Nikolić in his recent interview for Tanjug said that Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina had leaders who did not want to cooperate with Serbia.

"They are looking for an excuse not to cooperate with Serbia, Croatia has a genocide lawsuit, it has an open way to the EU, and the last thing it needs is to begin to negotiate with Serbia about the property of Serbs (from Croatia), (their) unpaid pensions and stolen apartments. Or about (Operation) Storm, which Croatia celebrates rather than mourns, as Serbia mourns Srebrenica."

Josipović's response to this was that "his country, too, mourns Srebrenica," and in addition - that it "recognized it as genocide, which President Nikolić does not."

"Of course we celebrate our victory, Storm, which finished off the dream and ambition of a greater Serbia, and at the same time I regret any innocent victim, including all those Serb civilians who were either killed or were the victim of crimes which the Croatian judiciary must punished," he was quoted as saying.