President urged to "change his mind" about Sarajevo trip
Bakir Izetbegović says he "does not understand the reasoning behind Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić’s plans not to go to Sarajevo."Source: Tanjug
Nikolić announced that he would not attend an event marking 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War as the Bosnian authorities plan to hold it in a building bearing an inscription offensive to Serbs.
“Nobody is planning to revise history or accuse the perpetrators of the assassination, let alone a whole nation. We will try to ‘round up’ 100 years of conflict and draw some lessons from a century of wars,” said Izetbegović, Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and representative of Bosniaks (Muslims) in the country's tripartite presidency.
Appearing on a talk show broadcast by Serbia’s RTS state television late on Monday, Nikolić said that the organization of the centenary event had been entrusted to Sarajevo city officials and they had chosen to hold the ceremony in a building bearing a sign that said it was a place where "Serb criminals had killed people."
“This is no way to reconcile,” Nikolić said, stressing that he could not go to a place where his people would be accused.
Izetbegović argues, however, that the signs were put on the Sarajevo City Hall at the time it was burned down, when "a genocide campaign started in Sarajevo that ended with 11,541 people in the city, including Serbs, being killed."
"It is really a plate speaking about the criminals who did that and it is a mirror of the events taking place at that time. We should not be mad at the mirror if it shows an ugly picture," he said.
Izetbegović expressed "hope that President Nikolić and other Serbian politicians would change their positions about the issue," media in Bosnia reported.
"We have no intention of accusing the people we live together with. We only accuse criminals. But this time, we will not do even that, as we want to send messages of 100 years of peace after the 100 years of war," he said.