Izetbegovic's cabinet calls Tanjug out for "fake news"

A day after Bakir Izetbegovic told Deutsche Welle that he hopes Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) will recognize Kosovo, his cabinet issued a statement.

Source: B92, Tanjug
(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

Tanjug said on Tuesday that it was reporting this statement in its entirety, as follows:

"Parts of the interview given by Bakir Izetbegovic, a member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the Germany Deutsche Welle, were carried incorrectly by the Tanjug news agency, taken out of context and in a tendentious manner, distorting the very essence of the statement.

Thus carried information caused a series of inappropriate and exaggerated reactions. Tanjug's editorial office was warned from the cabinet of the BiH Presidency member that the information it carried did not correspond with the truth, which is easily verified by viewing the video interview that is available to the public.

Instead of correcting the obvious false news they published, Tanjug continued to mislead the public, distort facts, and publish new falsehoods.

This made it clear that Tanjug did not make the mistake by accident, rather that someone was behind everything, whose intention is to undermine relations between Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, casting a shadow and creating a bad atmosphere ahead of the visit of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina to Belgrade."

This statement from Izetbegovic's cabinet was carried by the news agency Fena of the Muslim-Croat entity (FBiH) as one coming from the BiH Presidency.

Tanjug reported on Monday that Izetbegovic said BiH would recognize Kosovo, and that this "should have been done before."

"As far as I'm concerned, Kosovo should have already been recognized. Now our colleagues will be angry, and our attempts to make it happen have only created problems inside BiH, without helping Kosovo," Izetbegovic said - and "when asked directly whether BiH would recognize Kosovo, briefly replied, 'Yes'," Tanjug originally reported.

But the agency said on Monday evening that Izetbegovic's media adviser contacted them "with a request to clarify his statement" - because, he said, the way it had been reported by Tanjug earlier "posed a political problem."

The adviser, the agency continued, "rightly pointed out that Izetbegovic's response was, 'I hope yes'," - rather than, "Yes."

The agency stressed that while Izetbegovic's reply was originally reported "imprecisely" - his political stance on the issue was reported accurately - "something quite clear from his statement that BiH should have already recognized Kosovo."

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic assessed on Tuesday that Izetbegovic's statement would have far reaching political and other consequences.

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