"Serbia and RS under Western pressure over Srebrenica"

Belgrade and Banja Luka are under pressure to send top political officials to the marking of the 20th anniversary of the crime in Srebrenica, a daily writes.

Source: Vecernje novosti

According to the Belgrade-based Vecernje Novosti, this "behind the scenes foreign policy strike" is most felt by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Serb Republic (RS) President Milorad Dodik - "since influential Western circles wish to see precisely these two at the commemoration."

The current diplomatic "recommendations" could, allegedly, culminate on July 9, two days before the Srebrenica gathering, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected in Belgrade and then in Sarajevo.

The paper reported that "it is expected she will recommend to Vucic more specifically" that, for the sake of dealing with the past and regional cooperation, he should attend the commemoration.

The article said that top Serbian officials are still considering whether to attend, while according to the media in Bosnia-Herzegovina both Serbia's president and the prime minister have been invited.

President Tomislav Nikolic will not go - "unless Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosniak (Muslim) member of the Bosnian Presidency, has by then visited memorials for Serbs in Bratunac and elsewhere." Sources in the presidency told Vecernje Novosti that the reason is "a clear stance: reconciliation implies a sincere attitude and sincere regret because of all victims."

The EU "will not view it favorably" if no Serbian official shows up in Potocari, professor and former ambassador Ivo Viskovic believes.

"It is desirable to consider carefully and reach a decision that will not be detrimental to Serbia. Since some Serbs have been accused of this crime, the absence of our representatives could be interpreted as the support for these people and the distancing from what the international court established about that crime," said he.

Analyst Djordje Vukadinovic "has no doubt" that there will be pressures, writes the daily, and quotes him as saying that "for this reason Dodik has already visited Srerenica 'preemptively' in order to be able to refuse this invitation."

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