Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic said after talks between a delegation of the SDP-led People's Coalition and Djuro Decak, leader of the national federation of Homeland War associations "Dr Franjo Tudjman", that in case Serbia failed to abolish its law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Croatia would be forced to adopt a similar law.

Serbia will have to withdraw its law on universal jurisdiction which enables the prosecution of Croatian war veterans or Croatia will be forced to adopt a similar law to refer to the area of the former Yugoslavia in the period from 1991 onward and to prosecute, for example, war crimes in Kosovo, said Milanovic.

The reason for today's talks (between the SDP and war veterans) was the situation "with an unusual hybrid law" enabling Serbian authorities to prosecute Croatian veterans for crimes allegedly committed in the area of the entire former Yugoslavia, which is a serious problem that will have to be dealt with, said Milanovic.

The solution is not in entering unnecessary arguments with Serbia but we will confront our views and jurisdictions if need be, said the SDP chief.

"We do not want to do that, but if we are forced to do it, we will," said Milanovic after the talks, held at Decak's request.

Milanovic said the Serbian law was adopted in 2003, during the term of the Zoran Djindjic government "as a cushion, so they can say that they are prosecuting crimes committed in the entire former Yugoslavia."

If there was understanding for the law then, there is no reason whatsoever for understanding today and the law must be abolished; the way to do it is to sit down and agree bilaterally who has jurisdiction over what, otherwise, we will be forced to protect our national interests, said Milanovic.

"We helped as much as we could, we were involved in the transfer of some people from Serbian prisons (to Croatia), we recognised Serbian verdicts without going into their quality or grounds... but I do not want to do it any more," said Milanovic.

Decak said that he was satisfied with Milanovic's position presented at the meeting and hoped he would not change it.

The federation of Homeland War associations invited leading political parties to state their position on the matter of the Serbian law and Milanovic and his coalition partners were the first to respond.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.