[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 6 December, 2004, 21:04 GMT
Serb leader apologises in Bosnia
Serb President Boris Tadic (left) with Bosnian Federation Prime Minister Ahmet Hadzipasic
Mr Tadic (left) is the first Serb leader to visit Bosnia since the war
Serbian President Boris Tadic has made an apology in Bosnia-Hercegovina to all those who suffered crimes committed in the name of the Serb people.

Mr Tadic, the first Serbian president in Sarajevo since the war ended in 1995, said war crimes suspects should face justice at The Hague tribunal.

But he stressed that individuals, not the Serb nation, committed crimes, and that Serbs too had suffered.

The Bosnian Serb Republic has yet to hand over any war crimes suspects.

This failure is likely to lead to the entity's continued exclusion from Nato's Partnership for Peace when Nato defence ministers meet on Thursday to discuss Bosnia's proposed admission.

We all need to apologise to one another, and if I need to be the first to do so here I am
Boris Tadic
Serbian president

Bosnia is shared between the Serb Republic and a Muslim-Croat federation.

Mr Tadic met members of the tripartite Bosnian presidency at the start of a three-day visit.

"I apologise to all those who suffered from crimes committed in the name of the Serb people," he said after the meeting. "However, the Serb people did not commit these crimes but rather criminal individuals."

He said it was now up to others to apologise.

"It is impossible to blame one nation for this because the same crimes had been committed against the Serbs.

"In this context we all need to apologise to one another, and if I need to be the first to do so here I am."

The president of Serbia-Montenegro - the loose union which replaced Yugoslavia last year - has already apologised in Bosnia.

Svetozar Marovic, a Montenegrin, said in November 2003 that both sides should be prepared to forgive and move forward.

His predecessor Vojislav Kostunica, a Serb, visited Sarajevo three years earlier but refused to make an apology.

Belgrade's cautious apology
13 Nov 03 |  Europe
Belgrade apology for Bosnia war
13 Nov 03 |  Europe
Bosnia hides scars of division
02 Dec 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Bosnia-Hercegovina
22 Sep 04 |  Country profiles


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific