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17 Mar 17

Bosnia Minister Says Vucic Met Dodik 'Out of Pity'

Bosnia's security minister mocked a brief meeting between Serbia's Prime Minister and the Republika Srpska President, Milorad Dodik, insisting Dodik was 'persona non grata' in Serbian political circles.

Igor Spaic
Bosnian Security minister Dragan Mektic. Photo/Anadolu

Bosnian Security Minister Dragan Mektic claimed Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic only met Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik "out of pity", after Vucic came to Sarajevo to attend a summit of Western Balkan leaders on Thursday.

Mektic said that as the meeting lasted "between 16 and 17 minutes", and as "they talked about problems in Bosnia, these must be some small problems".

According to Dodik's political party, the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats, SNSD, Dodik told Vucic, among other things, about the need to strengthen the University of Eastern Sarajevo and informed him about the construction of a hospital, while Vucic informed Dodik about the meeting he attended in Sarajevo.

The release also said the two discussed the political situation, issues of employment in Republika Srpska and the state of the local economy, industry and infrastructure.

But Mektic noted that it would have been "basically impossible" to discuss all of these issues in such short time, and also claimed Vucic had initially refused to meet Dodik.

"Dodik is somewhat of a persona non grata among the governmental and political circles in Serbia," he claimed.

"Vucic knows very well what Milorad Dodik and the people around him are doing," Mektic said, referring to allegations the minister made against the Republika Srpska President earlier – that Dodik and those close to him were conspiring against Vucic.

The minister has repeated these claims since the start of March, saying Dodik and people close to him would rather to see Serbia led by current presidential candidate and former foreign minister Vuk Jeremic.

Dodik has denied these allegations, accusing Mektic of an "attempt to gain the sympathy of Vucic in a bad, primitive and wrong way", the Serbian news portal Kurir reported.

Mektic has presented no evidence to back up his allegation but maintains he informed Vucic about it and sent the evidence he had to the relevant institutions in Serbia.

Last Thursday, Mektic said Dodik and his allies were "financing certain institutions and individuals outside Republika Srpska, mainly through the Foundation for Strategic Culture in Belgrade”.

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