Bosniak political leadership is “forcibly trying to turn a friend into an enemy,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Saturday as he denied allegations by Bosnia’s Party for Democratic Action (SDA) that he is endangering the integrity of their country.
The allegations came after Bosnian Serb leadership sent a document on “the status of Serbs” in Bosnia to the Serbian President in an effort to get him to include the issue of Bosnia’s semi-autonomous Serb-majority region, Republika Srpska (RS), in negotiations regarding the status of Kosovo.
The document was sent after a recent meeting between the Vucic and the Serb member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Milorad Dodik, in the Banja Luka, the administrative centre of the RS.
RS President Zeljka Svijanovic explained on Friday that the document includes information about violations of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement, arguing that the RS is, as well as Kosovo, a “strategically important, primarily national issue” for Serbia.
Dodik said that the document points out that “western countries have double standards when it comes to the issue of the RS and Kosovo.”
Vucic should negotiate the status of Kosovo and of the RS as a package, Dodik said.
The Serbian President said that he read the document but would not comment on it. He announced he will meet with Dodik, Cvijanovic and RS Prime Minister Radovan Viskovic on Wednesday in Belgrade.
The SDA strongly criticised Vucic and his announced upcoming meeting with Dodik.
"Coordinated actions of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic with the RS authorities to connect the status of Kosovo with the RS entity in the current negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo represent a continuation of aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the aim of endangering its integrity," the party said in a statement.
Vucic said the allegation is “senseless” and that there is no evidence for them.
"They are forcibly trying to make an enemy out of a friend, which is a big mistake. And they have been doing it for a long time, not just since yesterday. I will not be their enemy no matter what they do and how they behave and I will always work on the best possible relations with Bosniaks,” Vucic told Serbian TV Prva on Saturday.
He argued that Bosniaks “have no idea” how he will react on Wednesday when he meets with Bosnian Serb leadership to discuss the document as he did not express his stance on it.
He said Dodik told him that he expected a certain kind of support and help from Serbia.
“I told him ‘OK, but please think about it carefully, look at everything and send it to me so that I can get acquainted with it if you are looking for and expecting something from Serbia. Otherwise, I am not interested. I will not interfere in your internal affairs," he said.