Srebrenica.jpg
Photograph: Martijn.Munneke / https://www.flickr.com/photos/martijnmunneke/

 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.

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