miro kovač.jpg
Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ ds

There can be no reconciliation between peoples and countries without facing the past and true responsibility for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and the fundamental responsibility for suffering and destruction lays with the Greater Serbia policy and everyone should draw the appropriate conclusions from that, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said in an interview for a Bosnian daily of Monday.

"The main generator of wars in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo was the aggressive Greater Serbian policy. We need to face this and draw appropriate conclusions from it," Kovac told the Dnevni Avaz daily.

He underscored that facing the past needs to be based on moral values because there was no other way to healthy relations in the region.

Kovac stressed that Vojislav Seselj's acquittal, which he once again described as offensive and shocking, did not help the reconciliation process.

Kovac said Croatia expected the ICTY Prosecutor's Office to appeal the acquittal.

An International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Trial Chamber last week acquitted Serbian Radical leader Vojislav Seselj on all counts of the indictment for war crimes in Croatia, Vojvodina and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kovac underscored that he personally wanted Croatia to build partner relations with Serbia, following the model of France and Germany. He also said Bosnia could have a similar role in the region to that of Belgium in Western Europe.

Kovac said Croatia was very interested in the developments in Bosnia and that it wanted to help Bosnia on its path to European associations. He added that he would soon sign an agreement on European partnership with Bosnian Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak to that effect.

Commenting on outstanding issues in Croatia-Bosnia relations, Kovac said it was in Croatia's interest to solve those issues in a positive atmosphere and through dialogue.

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