Sarajevo councilors postpone decision to declare Milanovic ‘persona non grata’

NEWS 05.10.2022 13:00
Source: N1

The Sarajevo City Council on Wednesday postponed a vote until its next session on a document that would declare Croatian President Zoran Milanovic persona non grata in the city, adding that the postponement was made "to fine-tune the declaration," Croatian state agency Hina reported.

The declaration was proposed by councilor Toni Vukadin of the People and Justice party.

Today he said his move was prompted by “the fact that nobody in Bosnia and Herzegovina had institutionally responded to Milanovic’s insulting statements on Bosnia,” so he concluded that at least the Sarajevo City Council should.

“I personally think no one should have to suffer Zoran Milanovic’s behaviour and insults,” he said, adding that the Croatian president had been insulting Bosnia and humiliating its citizens “for too long.”

Vukadin’s draft declaration says that Milanovic’s statements “harm Croatian-Bosnian relations” and that his behavior is inappropriate for the head of a European state.

The document says that Sarajevo is open to all people of goodwill, but not those who insult and do harm. The City Council would ask Milanovic to change his behavior and he would be declared persona non grata until he did. If he were to come to the city, no city administration official would meet with him.

Councillor Adi Skaljic of Our Party remarked that the declaration did not state exactly which statements by Milanovic it condemned.

A number of his statements over the past year have been condemned, notably that “first soap and then perfume” is needed in Bosnia. He was commenting on demands to establish BiH as a civic state, saying that at the moment it was “a distant dream.”

Commenting on Bosnia in recent months, Milanovic said he would like to see what would happen to 2,000 Serbs if they decided to protest in Sarajevo, referring to protests held in July outside the Office of the High Representative due to announcements of election law changes. He called the protesters “incited unitarists.”

In July 2021, Milanovic said he would not go to Sarajevo until “the problem caused by the election of Zeljko Komsic as the Bosnian Croat member of the country’s Presidency was solved,” Hina said.

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