Serbian Representative at Council of Europe Insults Croatia

By 26 June 2018

ZAGREB, June 26, 2018 - During a session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) in Strasbourg on Monday, the Serbian deputy Aleksandar Šešelj of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), led by war criminal Vojislav Šešelj, made insulting comments against Croatia, saying that the present-day Croatia was founded by a criminal and neo-Fascist Franjo Tuđman.

While Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić was outlining the programme of Croatia's presidency of the Council's Committee of Ministers as current chair, Serbian deputy Aleksandar Šešelj asked when Croatia would give back "the Serbian Krajina to people who fled the Ustasha knife?"

According to the Belgrade-based Beta news agency, Aleksandar Šešelj also claimed that Croatia killed 1,000 Serbs and made 500,000 Serbs leave the so-called Serb Krajina during the liberating operation Storm in the summer of 1995. He said that it was a shame on Croatia to observe the anniversaries of Operation Storm as a national holiday.

The Croatian parliament's delegation to PACE stated that it does not intend to debate with Aleksandar Šešelj, however, the Croatian representatives cannot accept the insults and untruths said at the plenary meeting. "We condemn any hate speech, primarily based on insults and untruths," reads the press release of the Croatian delegation.

The head of the Croatian delegation Sanja Putica also asked the PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier to ensure that such level of communication and dissemination of untruths and insults would be stopped in the Parliamentary Assembly.

Putica thanked Pasquier for her advocacy in favour of upgrading the accepted democratic customs and parliamentary discussions embraced by the Europe.

The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe said that the Serbian deputy 's behaviour was unacceptable and against the PACE rules, and that she would inform the Serbian delegation's chairwoman of the incident.