Srebrenica’s Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

This file photo shows former Bosnian Army commander of Srebrenica, Naser Oric, talking to the AP in Sarajevo, Bosnia on June 1, 2011. (File photo by AP)
Updated 09 October 2017
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Srebrenica’s Muslim defender acquitted of crimes against Serbs

SARAJEVO, Bosnia: Bosnian Muslim commander Naser Oric, who led the defense of Srebrenica during the 1992-95 war, was acquitted of war crimes against Serbs on Monday, a ruling that is set to deepen ethnic divisions 22 years after the conflict ended.
Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs had accused Oric’s men of killing Serb civilians in and around Srebrenica earlier in the war.
Srebrenica eventually fell to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995 — the ensuing killing of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys was seen as Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
“The accused Naser Oric and Sabahudin Muhic have been acquitted of charges of violating provisions of the Geneva Conventions,” judge Saban Maksumic told the Bosnian war crimes court, referring to one of Oric’s fellow soldiers. Families of the Serb victims walked out the courtroom protesting against the verdict.
Bosnian Muslims or Bosniaks view Oric as a national hero for defending the doomed eastern enclave.


Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

Updated 26 June 2019
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Pompeo pledges close cooperation with India but trade, defense issues unresolved

  • But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues
  • The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance

NEW DELHI: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sought to reduce heightened trade tension with India on Wednesday, promising a renewed focus on negotiating improved trade and investment ties between the two nations.
But Pompeo, on a visit to India, gave few specifics of how they would overcome disputes on issues ranging from access to Indian markets for leading American companies to New Delhi’s demands for foreign firms to store Indian data in the country, and exports of steel and aluminum to the United States.
The two nations are “friends who can help each other all around the world,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar after they met.
The current differences were expressed “in the spirit of friendship,” he added.
The disputes have led to higher trade tariffs by the two countries and created unease over the depth of their security alliance.
In particular, the sudden introduction of new e-commerce rules for foreign investors in February angered the Americans because it showed New Delhi was prepared to move the goalposts to hurt two of the largest US companies, discount retailer Walmart, and Amazon.com Inc.
Walmart last year invested $16 billion to buy control of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Just days before Pompeo’s visit, India slapped higher retaliatory tariffs on 28 US products following Washington’s withdrawal of key trade privileges for New Delhi.
Jaishankar, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, played down the spat on Wednesday.
“If you trade with someone and they are your biggest trading partner, it is impossible you don’t have trade issues,” he said.
India’s ties with Russia and Iran, both now subject to US sanctions, are also a sore point.
US pressure has led India to stop buying oil from Iran, a top energy supplier. The United States has also stepped up pressure on India not to proceed with its purchase of S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.
The missile deal and Iranian oil were both discussed during their meeting, Jaishankar and Pompeo said, but mentioned no resolution of either at the news conference.
Earlier, Pompeo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for talks at his official residence in the capital, New Delhi, and they exchanged handshakes in images broadcast on television.
“The Prime Minister expressed his strong commitment to achieve the full potential of bilateral relations in trade and economy, energy, defense, counterterrorism and people-to-people contacts,” the foreign ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.
Pompeo is expected to round off the trip with a policy speech hosted by the US embassy, before departing on Thursday for a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 nations in Japan.