Ministry: Dacic's misrepresenting history, denying facts makes true reconciliation harder

The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry on Tuesday issued a statement condemning in the strongest terms the latest statement by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in which he criticised Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's address at the Christmas reception given by the Serb National Council (SNV) in Zagreb over the weekend, noting that it amounted to a misrepresentation of history and denialism that made true reconciliation more difficult.

The Croatian ministry said that Dacic's statement continued on "ill-intentioned, tendentious and entirely unfounded statements by Serbian officials about Croatia, which we deplore in the strongest terms."

It notes that at the SNV Christmas reception PM Plenkovic said that without the truth and without coming to terms with the past, there could be no reconciliation or building of a common future. "He reiterated once again that the process of peaceful reintegration was one of the main elements of President Franjo Tudjman's legacy because it prevented numerous new victims," the ministry says in its statement.

"Minister Dacic's red herring 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 Milosevic 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," the ministry says, recalling that Dacic used to be Milosevic's associate and spokesman of his party.

"The military and police operation 'Storm' liberated a larger part of occupied Croatian territory, which ended the aggression on Croatia and created preconditions for the peaceful reintegration of the occupied parts of the Croatian Danube region. By negating that, Ivica Dacic brings into question the successful process of peaceful reintegration as an international system embodied by the United Nations, which is a basis for building co-existence and reconciliation," the ministry says, adding that "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 enable that process."