• Hungary plans to oppose a UN resolution commemorating the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, citing potential Balkan tensions.
  • During a meeting with Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, Szijjártó accused the UN and Bosnia's high representative of destabilizing the region.
  • The Srebrenica genocide, where Bosnian Serb troops killed more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslims, remains a controversial issue.

Hungary will vote against a United Nations resolution commemorating the 1995 genocide of Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica, the foreign minister said on Wednesday, arguing that it would inflame tensions in the Balkan country and the surrounding region.

Péter Szijjártó was hosting Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, where Szijjártó accused the U.N., as well as the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, of taking steps to destabilize the country that was devastated in the 1992-1995 war.

During that conflict, more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys were executed by Bosnian Serb troops in Srebrenica, an eastern Bosnian enclave. The victims’ remains were dumped in mass graves and later reburied to hide evidence of atrocities.

US WARNS BOSNIAN SERBS AGAINST CELEBRATION OF CONTROVERSIAL SELF-PROCLAIMED HOLIDAY

On Wednesday, Szijjártó said Hungary would vote against the planned U.N. resolution on the genocide — which he called the "Srebrenica tragedy" — because it "intentionally or unintentionally would demonize the entire Serbian nation."

Bosnia

Milorad Dodik, a Bosnian Serb leader serving as the 8th President of Republika Srpska, speaks during a joint press conference with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto during their meeting in the latter's office in Budapest, Hungary, on May 15, 2024. (Szilard Koszticsak/MTI via AP)

"We believe that international political actors should end the escalation of tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, end the threat of sanctions and end the violent interference in its internal affairs," Szijjártó said.

The U.N. resolution is supported by Bosniak politicians in Bosnia along with a number of European countries and the United States. Proposed by Germany and Rwanda, it would designate 11 July as the "International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica."

Bosnian Serbs and neighboring Serbia have strongly opposed it, saying it would brand the Serbs as a "genocidal nation." The Serbs are supported by Russia and China.

International courts in The Hague, Netherlands, have branded the crime in Srebrenica a genocide, Europe’s first since World War II. Bosnian Serb top army officers and political leaders also have been convicted of genocide by U.N. judges.

Dodik, the Bosnian Serb separatist leader of the Serb-majority entity of Republika Srpska, has denied that the massacre in Srebrenica was a genocide. He was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2022 that accused him of "corrupt activities" that threaten to destabilize the region and undermine a U.S.-brokered peace accord from more than 25 years ago.

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On Wednesday, Dodik said the Serbian side "does not dispute that a terrible crime took place in Srebrenica," but that the U.N. resolution would "destabilize the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina to the extent of completely paralyzing any possible relations." He thanked Szijjártó for taking a position against it.

In a post on X on Wednesday, head of the Srebrenica Memorial Center Emir Suljagi? called Hungary's position "a deeply troubling stance that cannot be ignored." He blamed the country's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, for aligning Hungary "with forces of denial and revisionism, undermining international efforts to acknowledge and learn from this tragedy."

"Orbán’s opposition to the resolution on Srebrenica can be seen as part of a broader pattern of rejecting international consensus on human rights issues," Suljagi? wrote. "By refusing to acknowledge the genocide, Hungary under Orbán is sending a dangerous message that historical truths can be conveniently ignored for political expediency."

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