The Serb people supported us, and we thanked them with the bombing. That is why I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the bombing of the former Yugoslavia, the President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman said today after meeting with the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic.
Zeman pointed out that Serbia and the Czech Republic have a traditional friendship.
„We were let down by our western allies in 1938, and we were also let down by our eastern allies in 1968. One doesn’t get to choose,“ he said.
He underlined, however, that the Serb people supported the Czech Republic in both cases, adding:
„And we thanked them with the bombing. That is why I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the bombing of the former Yugoslavia.“
He also asked the Serbian people to forgive him.
„Talleyrand would say it was worse than a crime, it was a mistake. I would like to ask the Serbian people to forgive us. This tormented me this entire time,“ the President of the Czech Republic revealed.
He claims that at the time when the decision to bomb Yugoslavia was being made, the Czech Republic had been part of the North Atlantic Alliance for only a few weeks.
„We were the last to give our consent and we watched with desperation, looking for at least one country to agree with us and be against (cf. this decision), but we were left alone.
However, it was a lack of courage,“ he added.
Zeman says that by issuing an apology and requesting forgiveness for the Czech Republic, he solved „his long-term trauma“.
„Repentance liberates, I said, and I saved my soul,“ he stressed.
The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, said that no one else in the world had ever said what Zeman said today. While expressing gratitude to Zeman, Vucic stated that these are the words of a brave man who does not flatter anyone.
Vucic and Zeman held a private meeting at Prague Castle today.
As announced, the two presidents discussed EU enlargement, the situation in the Western Balkans, as well as the dialogue with Pristina.
The meeting took place after a ceremonial welcome with military honors where the two presidents exchanged national honors.
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