Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ/ ik

Member of Parliament Veljko Kajtazi, who represents the Roma and Jewish national minorities, said on Tuesday that he would attend the official commemoration for the victims of the World War II Jasenovac concentration camp, set for April 22, in line with the position of the Roma community gathered in the Croatian Roma association "Kali Sara".

At least three commemorations will be held in Jasenovac this year - apart from the official commemoration on April 22, the Jewish community will hold a separate commemoration on April 15, and the Association of Anti-Fascists will commemorate the Jasenovac victims on April 24.

"We ask that the decision of the Roma community not be politicised and not be put in the context of daily political one–upmanship. I regret very much this situation and the fact that the Roma community has to justify its position this way," Kajtazi told a news conference in the parliament.

He said that his presence at this year's commemoration, just as at previous ones, would be a mark of respect for every victim of the Ustasha regime.

He stressed that he respected decisions by the Jewish and Serb organisations as well as the position of the Israeli ambassador to Croatia and shared their concern about developments that had resulted in separate ceremonies.

"I also share the concern of some of those organisations about the fact that the Advisory Board of the Jasenovac Memorial Site has not been appointed yet considering that that matter, too, is being unnecessarily politicised," said Kajtazi.

He added, however, that while he respected the positions of some of the Serb and Jewish organisations, he believed that "they do not represent the entire Serb and Jewish communities in Croatia."

Kajtazi explained to reporters that if some of them were to invite him to a commemoration on a date of their choice, he would attend it, "as Veljko Kajtazi". 

The position of the Roma community is that the suffering of Roma in World War II should also be commemorated on August 2, Roma Holocaust Memorial Day, Kajtazi said, expressing hope that on that day the Roma community would be "joined by all who today cannot agree on a common position."

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