news 07 Dec 12

Croatian Leader Pushes Back Serbia Meeting

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has said that a meeting with his Serbian counterpart, Tomislav Nikolic, "would still not serve a purpose."

Zagreb

The Croatian leader was talking to Serbian broadcaster B92 as part of an exclusive interview that will be televised on Friday.

Responding to questions about a possible meeting, Josipovic said that the "level of consensus" that the two presidents could reach would be questionable.

"President Nikolić in this case, who was legitimately elected and whom we respect and appreciate in Croatia as the elected president of Serbia, has indicated some stances because of which it is difficult to expect that this symbolic function would be achieved in Croatia, and in Serbia.

"The question is whether the meeting would result in the degree of political consensus that is required for it to fulfill its function," Josipovic told B92.

Tensions between Croatia and Serbia flared recently after two Croatian war generals were acquitted in an appeals ruling at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

At the same time, Josipovic said that Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic's recent statements were "a good sign of progress between the two countries."

"I believe that it is obvious to everyone that good relations are vital for Croatia and Serbia," Josipovic said.

Josipovic also said that Croatia must still address crimes committed during and after the 1995 Operation Storm. "The ICTY's acquittal of Croatian Generals Gotovina and Markac does not diminish the need for Croatia to prosecute war criminals," he added.

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