President and Prime Minister React to Arrest of Alleged Croatian Spy in Serbia

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President Grabar-Kitarović: Serbia’s behaviour is unusual.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković commented on the news that Serbia had arrested an alleged Croatian spy in Belgrade, report and Večernji List on September 4, 2016.

The President said that she had no information that the person, who was arrested in Serbia, was in any way linked to Croatian security services and added that Serbia’s behaviour was unusual, just as the fact that news had been released to Serbian media.

“We have no information that the person who has been arrested is associated with any of the Croatian security services. I can only say that this is a very unusual behaviour of Serbia. We should all reduce tension because, if it really was someone who is associated with our intelligence system, then it should have been communicated primarily through diplomatic channels and security services. Publication of such news is very strange”, the President told reporters in Lukeži near Rijeka, where she attended an event together with Croatian war veterans and their families.

“I hope that after the election camping ends, we will sit down and discuss all the issues, since we must live side by side and eventually solve the issues that have been left from the times of the Homeland War and aggression against Croatia. That particularly includes the issues of missing persons and indictments against Croatian war veterans, so that people can live in peace and try to build their future”, she stressed.

The event was also attended by Veterans Affairs Minister Tomo Medved. He would not comment on the arrest in Belgrade, saying that he did not have enough information about it. “To my knowledge, he is not a Croatian veteran, and the only information I have is that he is a person who is a citizen of both Croatia and Serbia”, said Minister Medved.

Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković said on Saturday that, according to information from Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), the arrested person was not a Croatian spy, that he was a major in the Yugoslav Army and that during the war he fought against Croatia.

“I have talked with SOA director Markić and I can confirm that the person is not a Croatian spy”, said the Prime Minister, adding that the government still did not have enough information. “We are in contact with Foreign Minister Miro Kovač to get a little bit more information”, he added.

Prime Minister Orešković said he hoped that this was not yet another provocation. “Let us wait for some more information. All we know is what we have heard through the Serbian media, but we do not have any information from formal channels”, said Orešković. Foreign Minister Miro Kovač said earlier that the whole affair was a “third-rate soap opera”.


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