News 05 Mar 13

Serbia, Croatia to Tackle War Crimes, Missing Persons

Belgrade and Zagreb will set up a commission to deal with unresolved issues like war crimes investigations, but they won't be addressing their rival allegations of genocide yet.

BIRN
Zagreb

Serbia's Foreign Minister, Ivan Mrkic, and his Croatian counterpart, Vesna Pusic, agreed on Monday in Zagreb to form a joint commission to deal with such unresolved issues as missing persons, property questions, mutual lawsuits and war crimes prosecutions.

"We will tackle the [mutual] genocide lawsuits, but first comes first - and those are missing persons and war crime trials," Mrkic said.

Croatia filed a genocide lawsuit against Serbia at the International Court of Justice in 1999 and Belgrade filed a countersuit in 2010.

After the meeting, Pusic said that Croatia - due to join the European Union in July - will support Serbia on its own path towards EU membership.

“Croatia believes that Serbia’s EU aspirations should be supported as they are important not just for that country but for the region as well,” Pusic said. 

Serbia is hoping to obtain a date to open membership talks this year.

Relations between the two former Yugoslav republics, which went to war in the early 1990s, deteriorated following the election of a nationalist coalition in Serbia last May.

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