“In Srebrenica, grave war crimes were committed by some Serbs, who should be found, prosecuted and punished,” said Mr Nikolic, widely seen as a nationalist.
The Srebrenica crime figures in the genocide charges levelled against Gen Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb wartime commander, and his wartime political chief Radovan Karadzic, both on trial at the war crimes court in The Hague.
“It is very difficult to indict someone and to prove before a court that an event qualifies as a genocide,” Mr Nikolic said, without referring to the international court rulings.
The massacre happened just days after Bosnian Serb troops led by Gen Mladic overran the UN-protected enclave of Srebrenica.
Mr Nikolic’s predecessor as president, Boris Tadic, apologised to relatives of Srebrenica’s victims in 2005 and attended memorial ceremonies there.