BiH Bakir Izetbegović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ FENA/ Almir Razic/ ua

The Chairman of the Bosnian collective Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic (Bosniak), on Tuesday assessed that president of the Republika Srpska (RS) - Serb entity in that country, Milorad Dodik, had crossed the red line when he claimed that Bosniaks in that entity should vote at a referendum in favour of celebrating the entity's day if they wish to live there, the media reported on Tuesday.

"We think that Dodik has truly crossed the red line by threatening Bosniaks, claiming that if they wish to live in RS then they have to go to the vote at the referendum which discriminates them. It discriminates Bosniaks and Croats," Izetbegovic said. Izetbegovic who is the leader of the strongest Bosniak party - The Party of Democratic Action (SDA) - made the statement on Monday night after a party meeting.

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina ruled on abolishing RS Day, commemorating 9 January 1992 when the Serb assembly was convened which was practically an attempt to secede from the rest of the country and remain in the then disintegrating Yugoslavia together with Serbia.

Serbian delegates in Bosnia and Herzegovina unanimously voted on holding a referendum in RS to continue celebrating the entity's day. In the meantime, Dodik stated that Bosniaks should vote at the referendum if they wanted to live in that entity.

After these statements it is questionable whether Izetbegovic will want to continue talks with Dodik regarding the country's European path and arrangements with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), announced last week.

"We won't be going to Banja Luka for the time being but we could meet elsewhere if the talks are to continue at all after such harsh statements by Milorad Dodik," Izetbegovic said.

The SDA has advised Bosniaks and Serbs too not to go to the referendum which the party considers to be in contradiction to the Dayton agreement and have called on international stakeholders to react to Dodik's threats.

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