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news 24 Apr 13

Dodik Trades Barbs With Bosnia's US Ambassador

The US ambassador to Bosnia, Patrick Moon, and the President of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, have each accused the other of being 'frustrating'.

Elvira M. Jukic
BIRN
Sarajevo

After the US ambassador to Bosnia, Patrick Moon, bypassed a meeting with Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, during his visit to Banja Luka on April 23, calling talks with him frustrating, the Serb leader has struck back, calling talks with Moon the same.

Moon said on April 23 in Banja Luka that it was frustrating to talk to Dodik because every time they met he said one thing at the meeting and later did the opposite.

Instead, Moon met Zeljka Cvijanovic, the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, the Serb-dominated entity in Bosnia, and other officials of the entity.

Referring to Moon's statement, Dodik on Tuesday said he was satisfied that the US ambassador shared his opinion about their meetings, adding that it was frustrating to repeat the same thing to Moon every time they met.

Dodik said it had been especially frustrating before recent local elections listening to Moon say that it was unacceptable for a Serb to be a mayor of Srebrenica, repeating that all candidiates should be equal in the race.

[The town in eastern Bosnia is part of Republika Srpska but the issue of who should be mayor there remains highly sensitive on account of the Serb massacre of Bosniaks that occurred there in 1995.]

“It is frustrating hearing him say Jasarevic's artillery attack on the US embassy was an incident instead of a terrorist act," Dodik said, referring to 23-year-old Mevlid Jasarevic's 2011 attack on the embassy building.

It was also frustrating having to repeat to him that the issue of state property was already solved but was not being implemented by politicians in the Federation entity, he continued.

Dodik finally also said that it was frustrating to hear Moon say that the Bosnian constitution should be changed to the detriment of the Republika Srpska.

The issue of state property has to be clarified in order for Bosnia to step closer to membership of NATO.

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