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Croatian Leader rejects Serbian charges

Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said in Zagreb on 4 August that recent remarks by his Serbian counterpart Vojislav Kostunica marking the 10th anniversary of the Croatian Army's Operation Storm are harmful for the future development of bilateral relations, Hina reported.

Sanader stressed that the operation, which ended the Serbian rebellion in central Croatia and the Dalmatian hinterland, was a "magnificent victory over the aggressive [forces] led by [Serbian President] Slobodan Milosevic...[and was aimed at] defending [Croatia's] internationally recognized borders and putting an end to the reign of terror of an unlawful group of criminal terrorists."

Kostunica referred to Operation Storm as "the biggest case of ethnic cleansing since World War II," RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service reported. Serbian President Boris Tadic called it "an organized crime." Some Croatian media commentaries suggested that the Serbian leaders were seeking to counter the negative effects of the recent attention international media paid to Serbian war crimes on the 10th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in July.

(RFE/RL 05.viii.05)

 
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