Croatian Foreign Ministry has refused to take a protest note from Belgrade after Serbia’s ambassador to Croatia declined to accept Zagreb’s démarche against what it said was an announced visit of the Army of Serbia officers to Croatia.
A statement from Serbia’s Foreign Ministry said Zagreb’s decision was “contrary to the basic principles of modern Europe which envisage the freedom of movement, the right to preserve religious and national heritage and paying respect to innocent people killed during the WWII”.
Last Saturday, Head of the Croatian Police, General Nikola Milina said Serbia’s army delegation was denied entry into Croatia earlier in the day because their visit had not been formally announced.
On Monday, Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Ministry summoned Serbia’s ambassador to convey protest at the attempt it said was without an official notification, while the ambassador Mira Nikolic rejected the protest note.
Serbian Foreign Ministry, however, said the ban was unfounded since “the Croatian authorities were properly informed of the visit by the delegation of the Defence Ministry and the Serbian Army.”
“The exchange of protest notes between Serbia and Croatia is not a dispute between countries but a conflict between anti-fascism and fascism,” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said on Tuesday.
“I don’t want to get involved further in the whole matter because I think that they are taking us into an endless loop in which we are losing the clear picture of what actually happened. What did happen was that our delegation, our young cadets, were going to pay homage to the victims in Jasenovac, one of the places of the greatest suffering in WWII,” Brnabic added.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, did not want to specifically comment the whole situation, but did say that “the Republic of Serbia remains committed to improving the stability of the region and good neighbourly relations and believes that they can be reached through substantive talks, not through the media.”
(Ekspres, N1, 10.09.2019)