Thirty years ago German Chancellor Willy Brandt visited Warsaw and offers his apology to all victims of Third Reich’s regime during the Second World War. Same thing happens this week in Sarajevo when newly elected President of Croatia, dr. Ivo Josipovic, makes his first official visit to Sarajevo.
During his speech in Bosnian Parliament he offers his apology to all victims of Muslim-Croat war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 1990’s. As part of his apology he visited memorial dedicated to Sarajevo’s children killed during the longest siege of one city in 20th century, today he visited two small villages in Bosnia one with Bosniak majority and other with Croatian majority both of them are places of war crimes. President Josipovic prays in honor of victims with Grand Mufti of Bosnia dr Mustafa Ceric and Sarajevo’s Archbishop Vinko cardinal Puljic in both villages.
Moreover President Josipovic is first Croatian official who offers his apology regarding war policy of first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are wide spread rumors that President Tudman had an agreement with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to divide Bosnian territory between their countries.
During his visit to village of Ahmici were Bosnian Croatian forces killed 116 civilians on April 16th,1993 Mr. Josipovic said: “I hope that something like this will never repeat and I hope that region will have better future.”
His apology burst wave of negative reactions all over the Croatia. In her first response Croatian PM Jadranka Kosor said that President didn’t inform her about his apology and that she will request urgent meeting with Mr. Josipovic. Also ahe said that Croatia was never interested in Bosnian territory and that they helped Bosnia and Herzegovina in defense actions against Serbian forces. It seems that this apology will be major dispute in Croatian politics for a while and that President will need to explain his move to his citizens.
Bosnian side sees this apology as boost for future relations and improvement of cooperation between countries on their route to European Union.