BELGRADE – At a ceremony in memory of the fallen and exiled Serbs, held Wednesday in Belgrade, President Tomislav Nikolic said that Serbia, on its part, showed genuine commitment to peace and stability in the region and to the resolution of all open issues.
“The past is painful and burdensome, but the future must be built on cooperation and overcoming of differences,” the Serbian president underlined.
Patriarch Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church said that twenty years after the expulsion of some 250,000 Serbs from Croatia in the military operation Storm, Serbia has for the first time been able to show its pain and grief. Although the Serbs are a small nation, the number of their victims is comparable to that of Jews and Armenians, he added.
“We must be Christians and see a brother in every man, regardless of his nationality and ethnicity,” the patriarch said.
On the day of remembrance, which is marked in Serbia for the first time this year, church bells rang out and sirens were sounded across the country at midday, and the citizens paid their respects to the victims by holding a minute’s silence.