Feuding Bosnians Look to Turkey’s Erdogan to Mediate Crisis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and Bosnia presidency member Milorad Dodik (L) meeting in Sarajevo, July 8, 2019. Photo: EPA-EFE/FEHIM DEMIR

The Bosnian Serb leader earlier threatened to withdraw all Bosnian Serb officials from state-level institutions and re-establish a Bosnian Serb army, fomenting fresh fears of Bosnia's collapse and of armed conflict.

Dodik sounded a conciliatory note on Tuesday, however, tellling media that dialogue was needed on all open issues, involving Serbia, Croatia and Turkey.

"The goodwill of [Serbian President Aleksandar] Vucic, Erdogan and [Croatian President Zoran] Milanovic can be useful, but everyone else should agree on that," Dodik said, adding peace has no alternative and "the threat of force cannot solve any problem".

At che closed meeting in Turkey, Dodik and Erdogan discussed a possible meeting led by Turkey with the leaders of Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia.

The possible meeting aims to bring together Serbia's Vucic, Croatia's Milanovic and the leaders of Bosnia's main Bosniak, Croat and Serb parties, Bakir Izetbegovic, Dragan Covic and Dodik.

"The information Erdogan has received so far has been one-sided," Dodik said before his visit, adding that he would further explain the situation to the Turkish President.

Dodik praised Erdogan as "a man who is not prepared to do anything in Bosnia and Herzegovina that would be harmful for Serbs and Croats".

Izetbegovic, leader of Bosnia's main Bosniak party, the Democratic Action Party, SDA, on Monday agreed, telling  N1 TV channel that Erdogan could lead a mediation process, defining him as a "genius".

"Erdogan has good relations with Vucic and Dodik. Erdogan is a leader who is very strong and establishes good relations....

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