Grabar-Kitarovic: Incident with Seselj detrimental to Croatian-Serbian relations

Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic assessed today that the incident involving Vojislav Seselj and said that “this convicted war criminal violated the relations between the two countries”, adding that “it was not true” that the Serbian flag was burned during the official visit of her Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic to Zagreb.

“This event has really disrupted the Croatian-Serbian relations and I hope that a spiral of verbal violence will not develop from that,” Grabar-Kitarovi told reporters in Sibenik, regarding the incident that took place in front of the Serbian Parliament, due to which the Croatian Parliament’s delegation prematurely terminated their official visit.

She also refuted claims that the Serbian flag had been burned during Vucic’s visit to Croatia.

“Whoever told this to President Vucic was lying. I think it would be good for him to consider who exactly told him that and the reasons for it. I can say that this is absolutely not true,” the Croatian president said, adding the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb can confirm that.

As far as Vojislav Seselj and his appearances are concerned, Grabar-Kitarovic said that Seselj was a convicted war criminal that Croatia “should not be too concerned with”.

“He cannot cause any damage to Croatia; he can only harm Serbia. Serbia is the one who has to think about how to process a man who was internationally convicted of war crimes and of expelling Croatians from Vojvodina, and who, today, is a member of parliament”, said the Croatian president.

Grabar-Kitarovic also pointed out that Serbia must determine what exactly had happened and to prosecute Seselj if it was proven that he actually had stomped on the flag of Croatia.

“I think that according to Serbian criminal law, the punishment for firing or burning a flag is up to three months in prison or a fine, so the appropriate authorities in Serbia should initiate the procedure,” she added.

“I hope that we will continue to act responsibly in our relations, because I want to continue with resolving the open issues between the two countries, with mutual respect and appreciation”, concluded the president of Croatia.

(Novi Magazin, 19.04.2018)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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