Presidency Member’s Kosovo Statement Agitates Serbia

Politicians and the media in Serbia criticized heavily a statement of the Bosniak member in Bosnia’s Presidency on the country’s eventual recognition of Kosovo’s independence. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Bakir Izetbegović said he hoped Bosnia will recognize Serbia’s breakaway province.

“I hope so, yes,” Izetbegović told the DW journalists who asked him if Bosnia will recognize Kosovo.

The statement was seen as hostile by politicians in Serbia and in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska. Secretary general of Serbia’s president, Nikola Selaković, said that the Bosniak member in the Bosnian Presidency disrespected the territorial integrity of Serbia: “The point is not whether he can do it – after years of (Serbia) investing in the relations with Bosnia, a legitimate representative of Bosnia says he would recognize Kosovo’s independence if it was up to him”.

Serbia’s national security council will convene by the end of week to discuss a response to Izetbegović’s statement.

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Serbian newspapers

In Bosnia, the president of Republika Srpska entity Milorad Dodik accused Izetbegović of abusing the position by misrepresenting his personal opinions as the official position of the country.

“I see that Bakir  is willing to solve (the problems in Bosnia) with military means,” Dodik said commenting on another Izetbegović’s statement, in which he said that Republika Srpska’s secession would be fought, and added “All I can tell him is that we have the means to defend ourselves and that he shouldn’t even think about crossing the entity line with anybody. And we will think about for how long we will tolerate SIPA (the state police) and the Bosnian Armed Forces here (in Republika Srpska)”.

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