Some Croatian War Veterans Against Meeting with Serbia’s Veterans

By , 21 Oct 2016, 15:49 PM Politics
Some Croatian War Veterans Against Meeting with Serbia’s Veterans Source: HVIDRA

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Veterans of the Homeland War are divided over whether they should meet with Serbian veterans.

President of the Association of Disabled Veterans of Homeland War (HVIDRA) Josip Đakić, who is also an HDZ’s Member of Parliament, said on Friday that HVIDRA, which is one of the main associations of Croatian war veterans, did not support the recent initiative for a meeting with Serbian veterans until it sees sincere regret which should be demonstrated by Serbian soldiers and members of paramilitary forces who committed aggression against Croatia, its citizens and cultural values, reports on October 21, 2016.

“So far, we have not seen it. There is no sincere apology, no sincere regret, and therefore we have nothing to discuss with those who occupied, devastated and destroyed Croatia and killed its people. All veterans who want to meet with them as private persons can do it, I cannot not prohibit them, but I am not going to be their mentor”, said Đakić in the Parliament.

He added that Serbia was currently governed by “those who devised and implemented the aggressor's intentions, who wanted to take Croatian territory and turn it into Greater Serbia, up to the line which connects Virovitica, Karlovac and Karlobag”. “Those are the people who now govern Serbia, and their veterans and presidents of their veterans' organizations are representatives of the Chetnik policies”, said Đakić, alluding to the fact that Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić had prominent roles in the 1990s war.

Đakić added that he was also against admitting Serbian Progressive Party, led by Aleksandar Vučić, into the family of European People’s Party, of which HDZ is already a member.

Asked to comment on rumours that the Association of Special Police will organize a press conference where it will criticize its leader Josip Klemm, who is the main initiator of the meeting with Serbian veterans, Đakić said that HVIDRA would not interfere in activities of other organizations and that they can comment only the statements of individuals with whom they disagree.

“Klemm is our friend and brother in arms, however I think that he has launched this initiative to meet with Serbian veterans too soon and that there is no basis for that. I do not think that he has taken into account all aspects of whether Serbian aggressors really want to be in friendly relations with us”, said Đakić.

When asked if President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović made a mistake when she supported Klemm’s initiative, Đakić said that she still enjoyed his trust and that she “as an institution of this state... has the right and obligation to establish contacts with neighbours”.

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