ISSN 2330-717X

Serbia Calls US Congress Protesters A ‘Bosnian Caucus’

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By Sasa Dragojlo

The Serbian Progressive Party on Wednesday said the five US Congressmen who wrote to Vice-President Joseph Biden on the eve of Aleksandar Vucic’s visit to the US were all members of a “Bosnian caucus” that was hostile to Serbia.

The letter, which BIRN published, said the Serbian leader was linked to strategic company takeovers and was undermining media freedom.

The Progressives meanwhile accused the opposition Democratic Party and businessman Miroslav Miskovic of using the letter to “mock the state and diminish the reputation of Serbia.

“It is good that the citizens of Serbia know that the Democratic Party supports the initiative of the Bosnian Caucus in the US,” the party said, accusing the five Congress members, “together with Miroslav Miskovic, of lobbying against the interests of Serbia”.

In the letter to Biden, the Congress members expressed concern about media rights in Serbia, the lack of progress in resolving the Bytiqy case and Serbia’s joint military actions with Russia.

The Bytiqi case, concerning the murder of three Kosovo American-Albanian brothers in Serbia in 1999, remains a bilateral problem between the two countries.

It also allege that a group of people led by Vucic’s brother, Andrej, and two of his close friends, Nikola Petrovic and Zoran Korac, had “consolidated their influence and interest in energy, telecommunications, infrastructure and all major businesses in Serbia”.

The letter was signed by Congressmen Edie Bernice Johnson, Carlos Curbelo, Scott Perry, Adam Kinzinger and Zoe Lofgren.

Press offices of the Congressmen declined to comment further on the details of the letter.

Vucic met Biden, the US Vice-President, on Tuesday for talks that he described as successful.

He said Biden showed respect for Serbia’s political and economic reforms.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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