Turkish, Serbian leaders to join Srebrenica ceremonies in Bosnia

President Gul said that Erdogan and Davutoglu would attend commemoration ceremonies which would be held for the 15th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre in July.

Turkish, Serbian leaders to join Srebrenica ceremonies in Bosnia

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that they were acting with the idea that all Balkan countries would unite under the EU umbrella in near future.

We think this is essential for the stability and security of Balkans, added Gul who spoke at the joint press conference held after the Trilateral Summit of Turkey-Bosnia-Herzegovina-Serbia in Istanbul on Saturday with participation of Bosnia-Herzegovina's President Haris Silajdzic and Serbia's President Boris Tadic.

A new common vision is necessary to provide this, and we believe Balkans has the required will, opportunity and capability to achieve this, said Gul.

Gul noted that the summit was held in a very sincere, clear and friendly atmosphere, and foreign ministers of the countries also participated in the summit.

Anadolu news agency quoted Turkish president as saying that the summit was promising for the future of the efforts to settle peace, prosperity and stability of Balkans, adding that Silajdzic and Tadic came together for the first time in such a summit which was a historic gathering.

Noting that before the summit, an important step was taken on Bosnia-Herzegovina's NATO membership path, Gul said that Bosnia was invited to membership action plan, and this was an important beginning for Bosnia's full membership to NATO.

Gul said that everybody should know that Balkans had always been in cooperation, peace and stability under a large roof. He added that normalization of relations between Bosnia and Serbia had a vital importance. Gul said that Turkey, especially in the last six months, exerted very much effort for this target through trilateral mechanism set up between Turkey, Bosnia and Serbia on foreign ministers level.

Gul said that Bosnian ambassador's starting term in office in Belgrade was one of the most important steps of this process. He added that the second most important step was the declaration accepted by Serbian parliament regarding Srebrenica. Gul noted that the declaration was an important milestone to settle a consensus between people of Serbia and Bosnia.

Gul said, "integration with the EU and NATO is strategic target of our countries."

Gul expressed pleasure about the EU Western Balkans Conference which would be organized with the initiative of EU President Spain in Sarajevo on June 2, 2010.

We act with the idea that all Balkan countries would gather under the EU umbrella in near future, he said.

"Srebrenica massacre"

President Gul said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would attend commemoration ceremonies which would be held for the 15th anniversary of Srebrenica massacre in July, adding that Silajdzic and Tadic would participate in the ceremonies.

During the 1992-95 Bosnian war, the United Nations declared Srebrenica a U.N.-protected safe area for civilians. A number Bosnians flocked there for protection.

But in July 1995, Serb troops led by Gen. Ratko Mladic overran the enclave. The outnumbered U.N. troops never fired a shot. They watched as Mladic's troops rounded up the population of Srebrenica and took the men away for execution.

Men and boys among the 50,000 Muslim refugees from nearby towns and villages sheltering in Srebrenica tried to escape through the woods after the town fell but most were hunted down, detained and executed by the Serb forces.

Bosnian Serbs sought to cover up the massacre by reburying the remains of victims using bulldozers, which caused body parts to become separated.

The U.N. war crimes tribunal has sentenced nine Bosnian Serbs for their roles in the massacre and put another seven on trial. The Bosnian war crimes court has sentenced 12 and acquitted seven. The trials of eight suspects are under way.

Bosnian Serb army leader Ratko Mladic and his political chief Radovan Karadzic were both indicted for genocide over Srebrenica. Karadzic's trial at The Hague tribunal is under the way while Mladic is still at large, believed to be hiding in Serbia.

Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2010, 12:14
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