Bakir Izetbegovic, the Bosnian member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday, November 28, summoned Slovakia's Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Miroslav Mojžita to demand an explanation of comments made by Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič during a visit to Bosnia concerning alleged similarities between relations between Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina and those of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, Turkish news agency Anadolu has reported.
Gašparovič on Wednesday made headlines in Bosnian online newspapers with what some ethnic Bosnians have described as a 'diplomatic scandal'. The Slovak president, at a meeting with the President of Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik earlier in the day, spoke about the good relations between Slovakia and the Czech Republic and presented them as an example for relations between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska. Republika Srpska is one of the two main political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, while the other is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Czech Republic and Slovakia are independent states. When Bosnian journalists repeated a question concerning what Gašparovič meant by his comparison, he responded that "Republika Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina are similar to each other in many respects, like Slovakia and the Czech Republic".
The Sme daily today (Friday, November 30) published reactions by Bosnian journalists, political analysts and intellectuals who expressed dismay at the president's comments. Gašparovič's spokesman Marek Trubač said on Wednesday that the president’s statement had been taken out of context and that he only wanted to stress the importance of a positive dialogue. The Slovak Foreign Ministry insisted, according to Sme, that the misunderstanding had been cleared up at Ambassador Mojžita's meeting with Izetbegovic.
Sources: TASR, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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