Bribes in lunchboxes: TV drama about China’s corrupt officials attracts millions
ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he and his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic agreed on Tuesday to negotiate crisis talks involving all parties in Bosnia after elections in Serbia in April.
The crisis erupted after nationalist lawmakers in the semi-autonomous post-war Bosnian Serb entity passed a non-binding motion last year to begin removing the region from the armed forces, the tax system and the system. country’s judiciary – a decision long backed by Bosnian Serb leader Milorad. Dodick.
Turkey, which has deep-rooted historical ties in the Balkans, called the move “wrong, dangerous” and offered to mediate the crisis, raising fears of a relapse into ethnic conflict in Bosnia.
After a calamitous ethnic war from 1992 to 1995 that killed 100,000 people, Bosnia was split into two largely self-governing regions – a Serbian Republic (RS) and a Federation dominated by Bosniaks and Croats, overlaid by a loose central government .
Speaking to reporters with Vucic after talks in Ankara, Erdogan said that Serbs, Croats and Bosnians should refrain from taking actions that endanger the territorial integrity of Bosnia and that all should act” with a sense of responsibility.
“After these (Serbian) elections, we want to bring together the leaders of these three groups and have a meeting with them. With this meeting, let us take steps to ensure the territorial integrity of Bosnia,” he said.
“We want to summon the three leaders – Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs – and accomplish this. We agreed on that,” Erdogan said, adding that the talks could take place in Istanbul or Belgrade.
The predominantly Muslim Turkey backed the late Bosnian Muslim warlord Alija Izebegovic and forged good relations with the inter-ethnic Bosnian-Serb-Croatian post-war presidency.
Earlier, Erdogan was quoted by local media as saying that Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Dodik and other regional officials had voiced support for his mediation offer and that Ankara would step up diplomacy to resolve the crisis.
Vucic said at the press conference that Serbia is committed to Bosnia as an intact state and that preserving peace and stability in the Balkans is paramount, as well as “respecting differences”.
Vucic called on Dodik last week to return to national institutions that the Republika Srpska has been boycotting since mid-2021 over a law criminalizing genocide denial.
Judgments by international war crimes tribunals have labeled the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995 by Bosnian Serb forces as genocide, which Serb nationalists deny.
Serbia was the patron of wartime Bosnian Serb separatists and remains close to the post-war Bosnian Serb entity, sharing a border with it.
Dodik’s secessionist rhetoric sparked Serbian nationalist rallies and incidents in cities across the Serbian Republic.
Earlier this month, the United States imposed new sanctions on Dodik for alleged corruption and threatening the stability and territorial integrity of Bosnia. The European Union also said last week that Bosnian Serb leaders risked EU sanctions and loss of aid if it continued to stoke tensions.