Croatia Calls Serbian President's Visit To Jasenovac Death Camp Site Political Act

BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th July, 2022) Croatian authorities consider the planned visit of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to the Jasenovac Second World War concentration camp site a political act, because the visit was not properly organized and did not receive authorization, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grliс Radman stated on Sunday.

"Of course, we perceive it (the visit) as ill-intended, given that we understood that the visit is not sincere, that it is not about paying homage to the victims, but is mostly motivated by satisfying the domestic political needs in Serbia, before the formation of the Serbian government," Radman said at a press briefing.

On July 15, Croatian authorities sent a diplomatic note to Serbia, saying they they do not authorize Vucic's private visit to the camp site and memorial because it was not properly organized.

The visit of a foreign leader is not "a holiday trip to the seaside," the minister said.

"We consider this a political provocation precisely due to the fact that the victims here are a means, not an end. The goal is to show the Serbian public the efforts of President Vucic and get additional political points in the anticipation of the formation of the government," Radman added.

Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin condemned Zagreb's comment and said that now Croatian officials will have to justify their visits to Serbia in details. He added that over the past year, more than 700 diplomats and officials traveled from Croatia to Serbia without any preliminary official applications.

The Serbian Foreign Ministry sent an official letter of protest to Croatia, saying that it is shocked by Zagreb's uncivilized and anti-European reaction. The ministry added that Vucic will announce his response to the Croatian authorities on Monday evening.

Jasenovac concentration camp complex functioned on the territory of the so-called Independent State of Croatia from 1941 to 1945. The camp's detention facilities were used to murder hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, Roma and other political and religious opponents of the Independent State's regime. Jasenovac differed from many other death camps because it had a special children camp, in which about 20,000 children of predominantly Serbian nationality were brutally murdered.