B92, June 29, 2005
Croatia, Bosnia refuse reconciliation
RIJEKA -- Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina have refused a proposal from the UK to sign a declaration of reconciliation with Serbia-Montenegro, Rijeka daily Novi List writes today.
Britain’s proposal was for the declaration to be signed in Srebrenica on July 11 to mark the tenth anniversary of the massacre of eight thousand Muslim men and boys in the town. The report quotes unnamed diplomatic sources as saying that the proposed document would be one of reconciliation and apology.
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw is credited with the idea and Novi List adds that the UK has lobbied the state signatories to the Dayton Agreement to sign the joint declaration which would condemn the crimes of the past and show a resolve for peace and a European future of the region.
"This idea surprised Bosnian representatives who immediately rejected it, then Croatia did the same. Croatia refused for one obvious reasons and that is that it has no kind of connection with the crime in Srebrenica, and because it began Operation Storm mainly to liberate Croatia, but after discovering that Serb forces had brutally murdered about eight thousand Bosniacs from the Srebrenica enclave under the protection of the United Nations.
"Bosnia rejected the proposal resolutely because of the eight thousand Bosniacs who were almost certainly killed under the direct sponsorship of Serbia and because it would be grotesque to expect that the Bosnian authorities would sign an agreement akin to a mutual apology with Serbia in Srebrenica ," writes Novi List.
The daily notes that even today in Serbia there is a struggle for public acceptance of the truth about the Srebrenica crime, adding that at yesterday’s meeting of the Igman Initiative in Belgrade a declaration was signed oriented towards continuing the normalisation of relations, "which the Croatian leadership believes is quite sufficient".