The recent meeting between Croatian President Zoran Milanovic and Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik can be compared to the 1991 meeting between the then-Presidents of Serbia and Croatia where they discussed the partitioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina along ethnic lines, former Croatian President, Stipe Mesic, told N1 on Monday.
Milanovic invited Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, to a meeting in Zagreb last week where they discussed Bosnia and its Euro-Atlantic integration, the implementation of the Dayton Agreement and the position of the three constitutional peoples in the country - Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs,” his office said.
“He (Dodik) is the last person I would invite. According to the Constitution, Bosnia and Herzegovina is represented by three people and I could talk to them,” Mesic said, arguing that Croatia’s top officials decided to talk with “someone who is destroying Bosnia and Herzegovina” in collusion with Dragan Covic, the leader of Bosnia’s Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH).
“The question is - which policy is this? Who is behind it?” Mesic said, noting that former Croatian President Franjo Tudjman had Bosnian Croat Politician Mate Boban as the person tasked with destroying Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, while for the former Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic, that person was former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
The issue does not lie with Bosnian political leaders but among those of Serbia and Croatia, Mesic stressed.
Mesic also argued that the Milanovic-Dodik meeting could be compared to the Karadjordjevo meeting in 1991, where Milosevic and Tudjman discussed the partitioning of Bosnia and Herzegovina along ethnic lines.
Similar things are happening today, he said, adding, “I’m afraid that something might be coming.”
Mesic also commented on statements by top Croatian and Bosnian Croat officials who have complained that Bosnian Croat Presidency member Zeljko Komsic, who was not invited by Milanovic for talks, is not a legitimate representative of Bosnian Croats.
According to Bosnia’s Constitution, the Bosniak and Bosnian Croat members of the tripartite Presidency are elected from the Federation entity (FBiH), while the Bosnian Serb member is elected from the other entity, Republika Srpska.
Many of the numerically superior Bosniaks in FBiH abandoned the principle of voting along ethnic lines and gave their vote to Komsic, a Bosnian Croat who advocates a citizen-oriented society rather than an ethnicity-based.
In this way, Komisic’s voters effectively kicked the leader of the main Bosnian Croat party, Dragan Covic, out of the three-member presidency. Covic had won most of the votes in Croat-majority areas within the entity but that was not enough.
Mesic said that Komsic was elected according to law, legitimately, and that he defended Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war and is now the target of a negative campaign.