Serbian veterans invite Croatian veterans to talk
The Association of Participants of the Armed Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia has invited Croatian veterans to a friendly meeting.Source: Tanjug
As stated, this meeting in Novi Sad would send a strong message that this region will never see another war.
Secretary of the Union of War Veterans of Serbia Željko Vukelić told Zagreb's Večernji list that the members of this association believe that the highest credibility in resolving controversial issues belongs precisely to war veterans, rather than politicians.
“We need to work together to send a message to the public that those who fought against each other yesterday can now sit together and talk with respect and appreciation and send a message of peace and reconciliation to both people and politicians, all for the sake of future generations’ living together,” says Vukelić.
He reminds that this initiative was preceded by the public appeal made by the heads of umbrella veteran associations Josip Klem and Dražimir Jukić, who requested a meeting with Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and other interested parties, which the association’s veterans recognized as a shared interest.
“We got the impression that the Croatian side has an interest to finally establish a quality dialogue and to start resolving the issue of missing persons on both sides, as well as other unsettled issues,” says Vukelić, a former commando who is now a retired Republic of Srpska army lieutenant and a disabled veteran who fought in Croatia.
Vukelić believes that both sides need to come to agreement.
“We believe that the war criminals from both sides should be held responsible, and also that most of the participants were honorable and honest people before, during, and after the war. We are tired of wars. We believe that peace and coexistence are possible,” said Vukelić.
In addition, Večernji asked him whether the Serbian veterans share a common stance on the peace initiative toward Croats.
“Of course, this is not easy to achieve because there are many who suffered personal losses; there are many fresh wounds on both sides, but I think that most of them believe that it is time to move on. Sure, we won’t agree with the Croatian veterans on every single thing, but if people are reasonable, it’s never too early to send a strong message and never again see another war in this region,” says Vukelić.