28 03 2010 - Bruxelles
Presidents Josipović and Tadić reaffirm commitment to Bosnia's territorial integrity (HINA)
Croatian and Serbian Presidents Ivo Josipovic and Boris Tadic on Saturday reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation in efforts to deal with outstanding issues in the region in the European spirit and to the integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a country of three equal peoples.
Addressing a debate on the western Balkans which was held within the Brussels Summit, both Presidents Josipovic and Tadic said that Bosnia's territorial integrity must be preserved and that solutions to problems should be sought by the three constituent peoples-- Bosniaks, Craots and Serbs.
Former U.S. ambassador to NATO, Alexander Versbow said during the debate that there was a danger of the disintegration of Bosnia-Herzegovina that was still unfunctional despite efforts by his country and the European Union.
President Josipovic said that during their first meeting in Opatija three days before, he and Tadic sent an unequivocal message that Croatia and Serbia were committed to Bosnia's territorial integrity.
Our messages from Opatija clearly show that both Croatia and Serbia are willing to help, that they have no claims on parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina's territory and that they do not support forces that would like to secede from Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is necessary to do two things to find a solution in Bosnia-Herzegovina: first, the country must be made functional, and, second, the three peoples must reach agreement without interference from other sides, President Josipovic said adding that it was clear that all should help Bosnia-Herzegovina to find the adequate constitutional solution.
Tadic said that it was well known that Serbia supported Bosnia's integrity.
This means that we do not support any action aimed at the division of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We would like to be active in efforts to settle the existing problems in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but we cannot impose the solution, Tadic said.
He added that his government was working on the reconciliation on Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) and Serbs and announced the adoption of a resolution "on the war crime in Srebrenica" by Serbia's parliament next week.
Presidents Josipovic and Tadic added that upon their admission to the EU, their respective countries would not abuse the EU membership in order to impose their solutions to possible bilateral problems with their neighbours.
Brussels Forum is an annual high-level meeting of the most influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges facing both sides of the Atlantic. Participants include heads of state, senior officials from the EU institutions and the member states, U.S. and Canadian officials, academics, and media.
Croatia's genocide lawsuit against Serbia before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) might be withdrawn only after the problems because of which it was filed are resolved, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic said in Brussels on Saturday.
"During my meeting with Serbian President Boris Tadic in Opatija, we didn't even mention the proceedings before the ICJ, but only responded to a question from the press. I think that Tadic and I rightly envisaged what can happen. We underlined that that comes at the end of the road, when we resolve our problems. Then will the genocide lawsuit be unnecessary. But unfortunately, the media interpreted it as though it would happen tomorrow and as though we firmly promised that," President Josipovic said at a joint news conference with Tadic.
President Josipovic said his positions on this matter and those of the Croatian government were the same.
Asked what Serbia was doing about the painful issue of the more than one thousand persons from Croatia gone missing during the war, which was one of the reasons for the lawsuit, Tadic said, "There are missing Serbs in Croatia, some Croats who disappeared in Serbia".
"That's one of the most painful problems and we must help the families so that the problem can be resolved," he said.
The two Presidents took part in a debate on the western Balkans within the Brussels Forum, one of the biggest meetings of the most influential politicians, analysts and business people from North America and Europe. European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele and US Senator George Voinovich took part in the discussion.