Croatian embassy in Bosnia condemns Izetbegovic’s statement

NEWS 22.11.2021 18:30

Croatia's Embassy in Sarajevo on Monday condemned statements by Bosniak leader Bakir Izetbegovic bringing into question the historical identity of the constituent peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The embassy’s statement was a response to speeches which Izetbegovic, leader of the Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), made at functions organised by expats in Germany last week.

The embassy points to “Izetbegovic’s misuse of historical terms” for what it describes as “petty political purposes” and “a bid to erode the identity of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina” as the least numerous constituent people in the country.

During the events, organized by Bosniak expat communities, Izetbegovic said, according to reports in local media outlets, that all people in Bosnia and Herzegovina “are the descendants of the good Bošnjans, that is Bogomils”, a reference to members of the Christian neo-Gnostic or dualist sect in Bosnia in the early Middle Ages. He went on to say that it was only in the more recent time that those people were divided along ethnic and religious lines by political forces.

Izetbegovic also insisted that there was sufficient evidence that in the Middle Ages residents of Bosnia were members of the Orthodox or Catholic Church but that they were not Serbs or Croats, especially not in the present-day meaning of those terms.

The Croatian embassy recalls that the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina recognizes three constituent peoples: the Bosniaks, the Croats and the Serbs.

Officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country aspiring to become a candidate for EU membership, are expected to show commitment to European values, including the principle of equality and preservation of the different national identities of the three constituent peoples, says the embassy.

The Croatian National Council, an umbrella association of Croat parties and societies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has already condemned Izetbegović’s statements that the HDZ BiH party “will get nothing” if its leader Dragan Covic does not accept compromises  concerning amendments to the country’s election legislation.

The HNS BiH has accused Izetbegovic of behaving “like an Ottoman Turkish bey.”

“This does not pave the way to any compromise. Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a private land owned by a bey. Representation of the constituent peoples… is a constitutional category confirmed by all the rulings of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Court of Human Rights,” the HNS BiH said.


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