Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency member Zeljko Komsic and Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic said on Saturday they were opposed to the participation of Croatian troops in the peacekeeping mission in the country.
Their statements came after Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said that he would insist on the deployment of Croatian troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina if Croatia so wished. His statement has become part of the ongoing election campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Komsic, the Croat member of the Presidency and leader of the Democratic Front (DF) party, said that the door of Bosnia and Herzegovina was closed to Croatian military personnel, while Turkovic, a senior official of the predominantly Bosniak Party of Democratic Action (SDA), said that the proposal was made by a genocide denier.
Speaking with DF activists, Komsic said that Milanovic will never see the day when Croatian troops are deployed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Althea peacekeeping mission.
Komsic has been elected as the Croat member of the Presidency three times so far, largely thanks to votes from Bosniak voters and political parties. He is running again in the 2 October general election.
Turkovic expressed concern about Milanovic's announcement. Writing on Twitter, she again accused him of denying the Srebrenica genocide even though she had retracted her statement on Friday saying that Milanovic made no such statement at the Brdo pri Kranju summit in Slovenia.
“Serious concern about the Croatian president's intention to send Croatian troops to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the EUFOR/NATO Althea mission while denying the Srebrenica genocide,” Turkovic wrote.
Milanovic said on Friday that he would insist that Croatia was included among the countries that would send their troops, if necessary, to Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Althea mission, either within the EU or within NATO. “If we achieve that, we will decide whether we will send our troops there at all.”