Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic
Photograph: HINA / Zoran ŽESTIĆ / TANJUG/ mm

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Thursday that "the behaviour of the outgoing Croatian government has gone beyond the bounds of normality", adding that the Croatian government should focus so that it would not cause damage to relations in the region.

In a strongly-worded statement circulated by the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dacic said: "It is high time the Croatian government came to its senses and put an end this piece of dirty theatre for the domestic public which is causing damage to the entire region."

"The rhetoric, the language and the undisguised hatred that emanates from each statement and appearance they make is no longer just a need of the election campaign in Croatia but an expression of a pathological obsession with Serbia and an anti-Serb hysteria in Croatia, led by the Croatian government," Dacic said.

Dacic stressed that "Serbia cannot be treated that way."

"We do not allow anyone to do that, not even the most powerful countries, let alone Croatia, which cannot even protect 10 Cyrilic plates and where Ustasha fascist salutes are still heard at public events," he added.

Dacic wondered if "the Croatian government had nothing better to do than stir up hatred of Serbia and Serbs."

He said that Croatia should first convince "more than 10 EU countries that have universal jurisdiction over war crimes, including Germany," and asked: "How come (Croatia) did not object to war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia being tried in Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland or Germany? How come they did not object when the war crimes committed at Ovcara, in Lovas or Zvornik were tried under this law? Serbia will not allow anyone to humiliate it."

Dacic said that with such behaviour Croatia was not becoming a problem for Serbia but for Europe. "A government that has failed to stay in office for more than six months and that has failed to protect itself will certainly not protect Croatian interests. On the contrary, it is only damaging Croatia's reputation and undermining stability in the region."

"Regardless of all this, the process of reconciliation and good-neighbourly relations based on common interests is the only possible path for the future of our nations and states," Dacic concluded.

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