Croatian President: Reference to Dayton was opposed by other EU states

The reference to the Dayton agreement in NATO’s communique adopted on Monday had been opposed by Germany, Italy and some other Western countries, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday. [EPA-EFE/KENZO TRIBOUILLARD]

The reference to the Dayton agreement in NATO’s communique following its summit earlier this week was opposed by Germany, Italy and some other Western countries, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday (15 June), adding that possible changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) must not happen without Croatia and Serbia.

“That should not have happened, that should have been resolved a week ago. Somebody is against it, has a problem with the Dayton agreement and wants to dismantle it,” Milanović said, adding that at the same time those countries were criticising the Serb BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik for violating the Dayton agreement.

“Something is not right about that way of thinking,” said Milanović. “Western Europe – and I’m not talking about the leaders, definitely not about [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel, is acting foolishly, undermining one of the foundations of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, regardless of how imperfect it may be, protects it against destabilisation,” he added.

Milanović went on to say that talks on the communique had not been conducted by Merkel but by the German foreign ministry which, he said, was headed by a political camp different from Merkel’s and one he felt close to, “namely by people who in their fantasy are prone to making silly experiments.”

Some Western European countries advocate a so-called civic model for BiH to replace the concept of three constituent peoples envisaged by the Dayton peace agreement.

Milanović said “it sounds very noble but is actually a hoax. They should do it back at home. Bosnia and Herzegovina is as it is, we share a long border and we will soon have to guard it for the Schengen area,” he said.

“That is how things are done in diplomacy, as far as I can remember. I used to be a diplomat and I never caused a scandal. Then I entered politics and in politics, you have to cause scandals to be heard,” he added.  (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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