Croatia's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina is being recalled after attending an official celebration in Banja Luka.
Ambassador Ivan Del Vechio has been summoned back to Zagreb after he participated in events marking Republika Srpska Day, a move Croatian officials have characterized as “the wrong call”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that he is being recalled.
Ambassador Del Vechio is still in Zagreb where he was summoned for consultations, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs.
On Wednesday, Del Vechio was in Banja Luka for events marking the controversial Republika Srpska Day. The celebration, which was also attended by HDZ BiH leader Dragan Čović, honored Slavko Lisic, who has been sentenced by Croatian courts to 15 years for war crimes committed in Dalmatia.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić said on Thursday that Croatia had never participated in this celebration and that should have been the case this year as well. Del Vechio, she said, had made the wrong decision. The Ministry said that it had not been aware that Del Vechio would be attending the event and that he was summoned to Zagreb to explain.
January 9 is celebrated in Republika Srpska as the day when Bosnian Serbs declared their own entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992.