Bakir Izetbegovic says that “even the attempt” of the RS to secede from Bosnia would lead to a conflict with unforeseeable consequences for the Balkans.
Izetbegovic, who represents Bosniaks (Muslims) in the tripartite presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, said this was “the red line” that RS President Milorad Dodik “should under no circumstances cross.”
Izetbegovic told N1 that “conflicts are inevitable” is somebody tried to take “places like Srebrenica” out of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Srebrenica is located in the Serb Republic (RS) – the Serb entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose other entity is the Muslim-Croat Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (FBiH).
“Incidents will start slowly and that’s inevitable, and afterwards, serious conflicts, that will draw the Balkans into a bloody dance,” Izetbegovic said, talking about “what might happen.”
For that reason, he continued, he has asked – “via common friends of Balkan statesmen – presidents of Turkey and Russia” – that Dodik be told “not to go into any adventure that would cross the red line.”
Asked about Croatia’s stance toward Bosnia-Herzegovina, Izetbegovic said that Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was “exaggerating the danger posed by those returning from the wars in Syria and Iraq.”
On the other hand, Izetbegovic sees pressure from Croatia with the goal of affirming “the concept of Herzeg-Bosnia” (a separate Croat entity), which he said was “an attempt to achieve by political means an objective unachieved during the war.”
Croatia, like Serbia, is testing how far it can go in its position toward Bosnia-Herzegovina, and is in that way “showing its disrespect.”
“We need to fight to stop such tendencies and appetites. These are processes,” he has been quoted as saying.
Izetbegovic does not expect the international community to soon launch an initiative to change the Dayton Agreement – the peace treaty that ended the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia – even though he thinks it is “a burden that is causing crises.”
“Through these crises we will mature and in five to ten years create a normal state,” Izetbegovic said.