After Incident, Speaker of Croatian Parliament Abruptly Ends Visit to Serbia

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ZAGREB, April 18, 2018 – A delegation of the Croatian parliament, led by Speaker Gordan Jandroković, has abruptly terminated their official visit to Serbia following an incident caused by Serbian Radical Party leader and MP Vojislav Šešelj, the Croatian parliament said in a press release.

Šešelj and another member of his party, Filip Stojanović, desecrated the Croatian flag outside the Serbian parliament, and then threw insults at the Croatian delegation as they were passing by, the press release said.

“Despite the very good start to the official visit and a commitment to do the best we can for the promotion of the two countries’ relations, we have terminated the visit because of this act which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the Republic of Croatia and its parliament,” the press release said.

Serbian Parliament Speaker Maja Gojković condemned in the strongest terms Šešelj ‘s “brutal attempt” to threaten the dignity of the Serbian parliament and the delegation of the Croatian Parliament, the Beta news agency reported.

“Disrespecting the state symbols of Croatia whose delegation, led by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, is on the first, historic visit to Serbia, cannot be tolerated and is also an insult to the Serbian people who have a long-standing tradition of being good hosts,” Gojković said in a press release.

Šešelj’s Serbian Radical Party released a statement boasting about the incident, bragging that “five members of security were unable to take the banner and the flag” from Šešelj and another Radical Party MP.

The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals on April 11 sentenced Šešelj in absentia to ten years in prison for inciting crimes with nationalist speeches in the Vojvodina region of Serbia during the war in 1992.


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