BELGRADE, Serbia, April 25 (UPI) -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has issued an apology for the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which 8,000 Muslims were killed.
"I am down on my knees because of it. Here, I am down on my knees. And I am asking for a pardon for Serbia for the crime that was committed in Srebrenica. I apologize for the crimes committed by any individual on behalf of our state and our people," Nikolic said.
Nikolic's comments came during an interview with Bosnian BHT TV, to be aired May 7, B92 reported.
Earlier this week, Nikolic met with Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency members Nebojsa Radmanovic and Bakir Izetbegovic and said the three leaders agreed to put their differences and misunderstandings behind them and vowed to strengthen ties and to never allow incidents such as the Srebrenica massacre to happen again.
"As a guarantee of the Dayton Treaty, Serbia wishes Bosnia peace, stability and the best possible development in terms of economy and all other areas. Serbia wants to help Bosnia on this path. Serbia is always there for Bosnia and it will provide assistance if need be, but we would like to see the two entities resolve their problems and cooperate on their own," Nikolic said after the meeting.
During the recent interview, Nikolic said it remained to be proven whether genocide took place during the Srebrenica massacre but said that many events during wars that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia had characteristics of genocide, The Daily Telegraph, Britain, reported.
Until five years ago, Nikolic headed the ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party and denied any alleged war crimes committed by Serbian forces during the Balkans wars of the 1990s.