Serbia "has duty to help Serb entity" - Nikolic

The Serb Republic (RS) is not not sufficiently prepared to defend itself from fundamentalism and terrorism, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has said.

Source: Beta, Tanjug
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Nikolic made the comments after his meeting with RS President Milorad Dodik, and added that it is Serbia's duty to help the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina in this.

"We must do everything and prevent this from spreading even further," Nikolic said.

Dodik is in Belgrade on Wednesday and his meetings with top Serbian officials come in the wake of the terrorist attack on Monday in Zvornik, RS, when a police officer was killed.

According to Nikolic, the incident shows that the international community "has not managed to constitute many things in Bosnia-Herzegovina in a functional manner."

The president said that all countries in the Balkans should establish better cooperation and called on neighboring countries to work together "as the whole community got involved to ensure this does not happen again."

"Right now we're talking about people who are returning from the battlefield. And the question is whether former, current and future terrorists live in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and whether freely recruit young people," said Nikolic.

He stressed that Serbia does not want to do anything that would jeopardize the survival, functioning, and the future of that country, but that it also does not want to do anything that would put the RS in danger.

"This is a small phenomenon of what lies beneath the surface and swells and is transmitted worldwide. All those who have responsibility will do what is in their power under the Constitution and the law to ensure peace and security," said Nikolic.

Addressing the same news conference, Milorad Dodik said that the RS authorities "must cooperate with the Bosniak (Muslim) people to combat the ideology behind terrorism."

The attacker in Zvornik was a Bosniak believed to have been a member of the radical Islamic Wahhabi movement.

"The terrorist belonged to one people, but that does not mean that this entire people shares these values. We need to cooperate with the Bosniak people in order to fight against Islamic extremism... But I have to say that in the political elite of the Bosniak people there is no political will to confront the various forms of extremism-based violence," Dodik said.

He added he "understood the message that Belgrade wants peace and stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina," but noted that international representatives had taken away some powers in the field of justice and security from the RS, and that the entity has the right to defend itself from terrorism, the Beta agency reported.

In its report, Tanjug quoted Dodik as saying that the RS will now develop "a new strategy of security structures," and work with security organs in the Muslim-Croat entity (FBiH) of Bosnia, and in Croatia and Serbia.

"Coordination and cooperation with all positively oriented structures is welcome, and here in Serbia we recognized this absolute readiness and cooperation," the RS leader stated.

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