Croatian PM to snub SE Europe-China summit - over Šešelj

Croatian PM Zoran Milanović will not travel to Belgrade in mid-December, dissatisfied with the Serbian authorities' "attitude towards Vojislav Šešelj."

Source: B92, Tanjug

This was first reported by the Croatian daily Jutarnji List, which is quoting "unofficial sources."

Milanović was to attend a summit of South-East European countries and China.

He has in the meantime confirmed that he will not participate, saying it would be "ridiculous" for him to go to Belgrade "after such statements by Vojislav Šešelj."

Milanović will thus miss the summit of 16 regional prime ministers and the prime minister of China "because the Serbian authorities have not clearly distanced themselves from Šešelj's statements."

Milanović also said on Friday that "a proper declaration on Šešelj's statements is a matter of culture" - and something that should follow "after the time and effort invested in protecting the Serb minority in Croatia."

"I expect others to at least properly declare themselves on some events. For example, on the behavior of this 'esteemed gentleman'. All those people were in the same political company in the 1990s and all we ask is that it is said this is no good, that it was evil, and that they distance themselves from it," he was quoted as saying.

The Jutarnji List newspaper is reporting Milanović "stressed he thinks the previous government in Belgrade would have done that, but this one for some reason will not."

"They have their own problems, but they must deal with them. This is no way to do it, and I made the decision (to miss the summit) even before yesterday's news conference of the Serbian government," he said.

Asked whether the "Šešelj case" would lead to Croatia "blocking Serbia's European path," the daily said Milanović "did not give a precise answer, but laughed."

"I think I've said it all. I expect more constructive and sensible behavior. Responsibility must be taken, and statesmanship includes taking responsibility and not running away from problems and keeping one's head in the sand," said he.

The daily reported earlier that Croatian Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Siniša Hajdaš Dončić will travel to Belgrade, and that his trip "will have no political overtones."

According to an anonymous source from the top ranks of the Croatian government, Milanović also does not plan to meet with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vučić "in the near future."

The article said that "this means Milanović is indirectly rejecting the idea of Serb representative in the Croatian assembly Milorad Pupovac, who suggested a meeting where the two leaders would try to lower the current inter-state tensions."

The daily writes that the Croatian government believes Vučić and the Serbian leadership "have not adequately reacted to Šešelj and until they do, a high level meeting would not make much sense."

The article adds that the Croatian government "wants to hear from Vučić that the authorities in Serbia today in no way support Šešelj's warmongering statements."

Croatia has pushed for the adoption of a non-binding resolution on Šešelj in the European parliament, which Vučić referred to as "offensive and disturbing."


Hague president pays respects to victims

President of the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) Theodor Meron is in Bosnia-Herzegovina where he paid respects to Serb victims of the former prison camp in Čelebići.

Region Thursday, November 27, 2014 09:36 Comments: 8
page 1 of 12 go to page