Serbian Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin responded to a statement by the US Embassy in Belgrade saying that he dreams of the unification of all Serbs, rejecting warnings that his words could fuel tensions in the region, the AP reported.
The Embassy said that “comments of the minister of the interior about the unification of all Serbs into one state are not in accordance with the Dayton Agreement and contradict Serbia’s integration into European structures”. The statement was in reaction to Vulin’s interview to the pro-government Politika newspaper in which he said “the only way for the Balkans to remain stable is for the Serbs to live in one state.”
Vulin responded to the embassy statement saying: “I dream of the unification of Serbs, just as all my ancestors dreamed of it,” Serbia’s Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said. “I know that one day it will be completed, peacefully, without violence and conflict”.
The AP recalled that the 1995 US-sponsored Dayton Peace Agreement to end the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina left that country divided into a fragile federation that links an area run by Bosnian Serbs with another run by Bosniaks and Croats. “Bosnian Serb leaders openly want to leave that unity government and join neighboring Serbia, the news agency explained,” it said.
“Staunchly pro-Russian Vulin has been advocating the “Serbian world” for a while. Analysts believe that he has only been openly saying what autocratic Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is reluctant to state publicly, fearing a possible Western political backlash and isolation,” AP said.
Belgrade-based Beta news agency quoted Mining and Energy Minister and senior official of Vucic’s ruling party Zorana Mihajlovic who said Vulin’s “all Serbs in one state” statements were not the official policy of the Serbian Government. “As a citizen he has the right to express his wishes, aspirations and dreams, but this is not the Serbia Government’s official position,” Mihajlovic’s office quoted her as saying.