Bosnia’s foreign minister stated after a meeting with Serbian Patriarch Irinej on Thursday that the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and the patriarch can contribute to better communication, understanding and tolerance between the Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”I thanked His Holiness for an extraordinary role that the SOC has in the promotion of the Serbs’ interests and spreading of tolerance in Bosnia and Herzegovina and I believe it is absolutely clear, not only from the today’s talks but also those from the past, that our attitude to the Church will remain the same in the future,” Minister Igor Crnadak told reporters in Belgrade.
Crnadak told Patriarch Irinej at the SOC Patriarchate that his recent visit to Bijeljina and the conversations with the key Serb politicians in BiH had had a positive impact and that they had resulted in a “reconciliatory political rhetoric and a more peaceful political battle.”
One of the unavoidable topics of the conversation with the Serbian Patriarch was the recent decision of the BiH Constitutional Court declaring January 9 as the Day of Republika Srpska unconstitutional, which the Serbs find unacceptable, said Crnadak.
“I think that it is now clear to everyone that neither Republika Srpska nor the Serbs wish anyone anything bad and that such a move was completely unacceptable, unnecessary and even provocative and that it will not bring any good to anyone,” said the foreign minister.
He told Patriarch Irinej about the hope that the future will be optimistic for BiH, that the reforms and certain positive things that were initiated without putting under threat any of the entities will be continued successfully as that is in the interest of everyone who lives in BiH.
The two officials also discussed the migration crisis and the abuse of migrants for the purposes of terrorism. The meeting was attended by the BiH Ambassador in Belgrade, Lazar Mirkic.