Photograph: Martijn.Munneke /

 Bosnia and Herzegovina's Minister of Foreign Affairs Igor Crnadak has confirmed that he has banned ministry staff from participating in preparations for the commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide justifying his decision with the fact that Serbian officials have not been invited to the commemoration.

Crnadak is a senior official in the Party of Democratic Progress headquartered in Banja Luka in the Serb entity, which was founded by the Serb member of the tripartite presidency in that country, Mladen Ivanic.

Crnadak said in a press release that the Srebrenica Mayor Camil Durakovic was directly responsible for this decision because he had said that Serbia's prime minister was not welcome in Srebrenica on July 11 until such time that Belgrade continues to refuse to admit that a genocide was committed against Bosniaks in July 1995.

After that statement, Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that he could understand that message and that he would not go where he is not welcome.

The organising committee for the commemoration marking the 26th anniversary of the massacre of about 8,000 Bosniak men and boys in the then UN protected zone has sided with Durakovic.

The International Court of Justice in 2007 determined that a genocide was committed in Srebrenica without holding Belgrade responsible but noting that it had failed to prevent and punish the perpetrators of the genocide.

Bosnia's Foreign Minister believes that Durakovic's behaviour is detrimental to Bosnia's interests and that the country should be developing better relations with neighbouring countries.

"All state officials from all the countries in the region are welcome anywhere and at any time in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Crnadak said.

He concluded that anyone organising an event in the country has the right to decide who to invite but that he too has the right for his ministry not to be involved in the organisation of an event that is "in opposition to fundamental priorities and interests of the country's foreign policy."

"I am sorry that I have had to make this decision and I sincerely respect all the innocent victims in Srebrenica and many other places in Bosnia and Herzegovina however, I cannot allow for the foreign ministry to become part of this harmful and anti-European atmosphere," Cranadak said.

According to Crnadak, ministry staff will be at the service of foreign officials coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina only based on diplomatic protocol and relevant mutual obligations.

Several foreign officials attended last year's commemoration in Srebrenica. The event was marred with a physical attack on Serbia's prime minister. The perpetrators of that incident have not yet been identified.

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.