Serb entity's stability "crucial issue for Serbia"
Aleksandar Vučić has said that political differences and disagreements between political rivals "should be solved peacefully and democratically in elections."Source: Tanjug
Serbia's outgoing first deputy prime minister made the statement on Sunday in Belgrade, after his meeting with the president of the Serb Republic (RS), Milorad Dodik, and with Mladen Bosić, leader of the opposition SDS party in this Serb entity.
Vučić asked the two to travel to Belgrade after violent protests in Bosnia's other entity, the Muslim-Croat Federation (FBiH).
According to reports, the meeting concerned preservation of stability in the RS against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis caused by the protests that escalated in the Federation.
At a joint news briefing after the talks in the Serbian government, Vučić underlined that Serbia, as a signatory of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1995, has a certain role, which is not insignificant, in its implementation process.
Vučić underlined that the issue of political, economic and social stability of RS is a crucial issue for Serbia, which will use all its powers to support this stability.
“There is no need for burning buildings, violence and beating police officers in solving political problems. Serbia's interest is the region's stability, but the images which are sent to the world these days hurt the region in terms of the inflow of investments and other activities,” Vučić underlined.
Vučić said that he listened to Dodik and Bosić's opinion about the economic and political situation in RS, and voiced Serbia's positions.
“We managed to agree that the issue of political, economic and social stability is crucial for all of us, and that we will use all our powers to support this stability,” Vučić said.
He said that Serbia is one of only few countries in the region which has not been exposed to any instability in the last one and a half year, adding that this is the main reason why it has made progress.
Vučić said that therefore he does not expect anything similar to the events in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to happen in Serbia.
“All kinds of protests are allowed in Serbia, but we will not allow people's safety to be jeopardized, institutions to be demolished, buildings to be set on fire, and people to be attacked only for thinking differently,” he said.
"It has proved that my decision to call the early parliamentary elections was the right one," Vučić said, adding that he can guarantee peace in the country, while people will decide in the elections what kind of government in Serbia they want.
According to him, stability in the region is in Serbia's interest, "because images broadcast to the world these days (from the Federation entity in Bosnia) are endangering region in the sense of investments and other activities."
"I will not say a bad word about Bosnia-Herzegovina - Dodik has a right to that, I don't," Vučić said, adding that Serbia was "a sovereign country that respected another sovereign country."
"Goal of protests to destabilize RS"
RS President leader of the ruling party Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) Milorad Dodik stated on Sunday in Belgrade that the protests in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina are aimed at the destabilization of the RS.
At a joint news briefing after the talks in the Serbian government, Dodik underlined that the primary reasons that sparkled the initial protests in Tuzla, northeast Bosnia, were of the social character, but later Bosniak political structures clashed and the social dissatisfaction was politicized.
He said that the riots in Sarajevo and others towns in the Federation are a consequence of its "dysfunctionality."
“Bosnia-Herzegovina is in the institutional crisis and it shows that it cannot survive since it does not have an internal consensus on its existence,” Dodik said.
The RS president said that the requests for constitutional changes indicate that the matter is of the political nature and that the Bosniak leaders have lost control over the situation and engendered the current chaos.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is blocked, and much of the blame is placed on a part of the international community, Dodik said, adding that the high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina has never implemented the Dayton Peace Agreement seriously, but rather violated it seriously to the detriment of the RS.
“We have stopped this, but a great damage has been inflicted,” Dodik said, adding that the goal is the domination of the Bosniak policy.
He underlined that the RS is stable, but that the riots in the neighborhood flared in order to cause similar ones in the RS and make it possible for the international factor to have greater impact on solving problems in this area.
Dodik underlined that the RS will not accept an intervention by the international community on any issue which goes beyond the Constitution and laws.
Answering reporters' questions, Dodik said that Sunday's protests in Bijeljina, RS, were organized by representatives of Bosniak associations which are financed from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
He said that this is not a problem as long as the protests are peaceful and in line with the law, but added that any escalation of violence will be stopped in line with the law as well.
“the RS will remain stable and we are united in this regard,” Dodik said.
"Opposition not to take to streets"
Mladen Bosić, leader of the opposition Serb Democratic Party (SDS), stated on Sunday that the opposition in the Serb entity will not take to the streets to change the government, but it will rather do that in the elections.
“These are violent protests, and everything resembles the developments in the Arab countries known as the Arab Spring,” Bosić said at a joint news briefing after the talks in the Serbian government.
Bosić said that it is a common view of all political forces in the RS that the processes in the Federation are dangerous, and they can escalate in the direction which no one would want.
He said that Sunday's protests in Bijeljina have clearly showed that there are attempts at exporting the riots from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the RS, stressing that "therefore it is very important for RS to remain politically stable and beyond these turbulences."
Bosić underlined that the SDS has many objections to the RS authorities, but underlined that the opposition will not take to the streets, but rather change the government in the elections.
“We know that the RS has economic problems, citizens are experiencing hardship, there are many disgruntled people, and there is a problem with corruption, but the SDS will not oust Dodik by taking to the streets,” Bosić said.
This does not mean that the SDS does not agree with citizens' protests, but it will rather stage peaceful protests when the time comes.
Bosić underlined that changes in the RS can happen only in a legal way, and called on the citizens to show their energy and wish for a change in the democratic elections.
The SDS leader thanked Vučić for inviting the officials of the two strongest parties in the RS for the talks, stressing that by protecting the Dayton Peace Agreement, Serbia's duty is also to protect the entity.