aleksandar vučić.jpg
Photograph: POOL/ HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ /ds

 The Serbian government has decided to donate five million euros to Srebrenica and the government of the Bosnian Serb entity has decided to donate an additional 1.5 million euros to that town in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serb forces committed genocide against Bosniaks at the end of the war in the country in 1995.

"The Serbian government this morning made a decision to allocate 10 million (convertible) marks (EUR 5 million), to be made available to Srebrenica immediately," Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said at a two-day conference on investment and development in Srebrenica.

Vucic's statement was met with a round of loud applause from those attending the conference. The Serbian PM said that he had paid tribute to the Srebrenica victims earlier in the day and that the donation would be used to finance joint projects in Srebrenica and thus help restore co-existence.

"We Serbs want to have the best possible relations with Bosniaks. We want to live in peace in the next 100 years. This is only a small contribution. Serbia is doing this sincerely and with an open heart, we want to have brotherly relations with Srebrenica just as Serbs want to have brotherly relations with Bosniaks," said Vucic.

The President of the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, said that the entity authorities wanted to revitalise as many facilities in Srebrenica as possible and to build a bridge over the River Drina to connect Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Bosniak member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's three-member Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, said that Srebrenica should stop being associated with war and that one should work on improving people's living standards.

"We want to restore life in Srebrenica and bring back people to live their dreams here," Izetbegovic said.

The two-day conference on investments in Srebrenica was being attended by representatives of Croatia, Slovenia and other EU members, as well as officials of Montenegro, Macedonia, the United States and international organisations.

In the summer of 1995, Bosnian Serb forces, led by Hague tribunal indictee Ratko Mladic killed 8,000 Muslim (Bosniak) men and boys after seizing Srebrenica, a UN safe zone at the time.

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