President Zoran Milanović said he was pleased that the concluding document of the NATO summit in Brussles included a reference to the Dayton Accords in the section of the text referring to Bosnia and Herezgovina but expressed concern that certain countries resisted including it.
“I am both pleased and concerned, because what happened with the communique which interests us is not normal. We will have to look more closely at what exactly is behind it and how is it possible that a sizable group of countries is sabotaging, openly obstructing, the inclusion of the Dayton Agreement in a paragraph referring to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as if it was poison,” said Milanović after the summit held on Monday in Brussels.
“Allies strongly support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a stable and secure Bosnia and Herzegovina in accordance with the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and other relevant international agreements, encourage domestic reconciliation, and urge political leaders to avoid divisive rhetoric,” the NATO Communique issued at the closing of the summit states.
Milanović said he managed at the last minute to ensure the reference to the General Framework Agreement for Peace was included.
“If I hadn’t done that, we would have had a declaration that resembled something written by a coryphaeus, that is, someone who advocates for a civic Bosnia and Herzegovina, which sounds noble, but is actually a hoax,” Milanović said adding that Croatian diplomats will have to figure out why there is resistance among some NATO members when it comes to the Dayton Accords, the peace agreement that ended the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and set up the framework for the country’s political structure.
“The only thing I can conclude is that they have some kind of creative plans for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said, adding “What interests me, with respect to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in its entirety, intact, and unified, is the fate and basic voting and civil rights of Croats there, nearly all of whom are also Croatian citizens.”
Without mention of Dayton, Croats would be rendered non-existent, he said.
The President said he discussed the issue on the margins of the summit with nearly all of the leaders in attendance, mentioning only French President Emmanuel Macron by name.
Milanović attended the summit alone without Croatia’s foreign or defense ministers after a flap with Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman. Milanović had accused the Prime Minister Plenković’s government of being ineffective on this issue and of failing to support his efforts. At the conclusion of the summit, he said he always briefed the Prime Minister’s Office on every one of his diplomatic efforts but that the communication did not go both ways.
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