The latest statement by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, in which he in a completely unacceptable manner criticised Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s statement about the peaceful reintegration and reconciliation, continues the malicious, tendentious and entirely unfounded statements by Serbian officials about Croatia, which we condemn in the strongest terms.
At the Christmas reception given by the Serb National Council in Zagreb, Plenković said that without the truth and facing the past there could be no reconciliation or building of a common future. He reiterated that the process of peaceful reintegration was one of the biggest legacies of Franjo Tuđman because it prevented further victims.
Dačić’s strawmanning shows that Serbia unfortunately is still not willing to come to terms with its past since it was the regime of former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević that was responsible for the return of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Europe after World War II, as clearly established by the relevant international forums and courts.
Those who, like Dačić – a former associate of Milošević and the spokesman of his party – still refuse to accept said truth can only resort to misrepresentation of history and denialism, which makes true reconciliation more difficult.
The military and police operation Storm liberated a larger part of occupied Croatian territory, which ended the aggression against Croatia and created preconditions for the peaceful reintegration of the occupied parts of the Croatian Danube region. By negating that, Dačić brings into question the successful process of peaceful reintegration as an international system embodied by the United Nations, which is a cornerstone for building coexistence and reconciliation.
In the years after the war, a large number of Croatian Serbs decided to return to their homes, and the Croatian state invested huge funds to facilitate it.
Serbia needs to take more decisive measures and steps in dealing with its past and its role in the aggression on Croatia and the neighbouring countries. A resolute coming to terms with the past and a constructive approach based on truth and justice is the only road to building good-neighbourly relations and true reconciliation, which Croatia has been offering since 1996.