Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic paid an official visit to Zagreb on Monday, where he met Croatia's senior officials, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. The officials discussed major issues burdening relations of two countries.
Photo: EPA/DANIEL KASAP
Following the meeting with Grabar-Kitarovic, Serbian President said that he obliged Serbia’s politicians not to offend Croatia in the next 100 days, regardless of comments in that country. Also, the presidents agreed that the two countries will be trying to find a solution to the border issue in bilateral talks for the next two years, and in case of failure they would let the international judicial bodies to find a solution. Grabar-Kitarovic and Vucic also discussed the issue of missing persons and Serbian President promised “we will provide everything that can help in search for missing persons”.
Croatian President arranged a meeting of Vucic with Cardinal Josip Bozanic, and Serbian President said he had “a blessing” of the Serb Orthodox Church to launch more intensified dialogue between the two countries and the two churches.
“We do not agree on anything from the past, but it would be better for future of our peoples to be more responsible and more serious”, underlined Vucic.
The mass protest, which were announced prior ot Vucic's visit, did not take place. Croatian President said it was a democratic right to hold protests, but that she could not support insulting and hate speech. Vucic noted that he saw a few messages on posters on the way from the airport, calling him among other things “a Chetnik”, which he denied by saying that neither him nor anyone from his family ever was a Chetnik.
Photo: EPA/DANIEL KASAP
During the press conference, Presidents of Croatia and Serbia also answered a few questions regarding BiH. Grabar-Kitarovic said that BiH is among the countries that believe that the Law on Elections of BiH should be changed and that all court decisions, including the ones of the Constitutional Court of BiH and the ECHR, should be respected. “That means that representative of Croat people in the Presidency of BiH should be elected by Croats, that this is their political and not only ethnic representative. It is on peoples of BiH and their representatives to agree on details – how to write and solve the Election Law in all its elements”, she underlined. Vucic emphasized it is the stance of Belgrade that Serbs and Croats have a good relation in BiH and he wants such relations to be established with Bosniak community too. He also said that Belgrade supports every kind of talks, including a trilateral meeting. “BiH Presidency Chairman Dragan Covic is a persona grata in Belgrade. He is always welcomed. We have a high degree of consent on various matters. I did not enter details of the Law on Elections of BiH and it would not be fair to declare my opinion”, Vucic concluded.
Following the meeting with Croatian PM Plenkovic, Vucic said that they discussed war reparation, and that they had completely opposing stances on this matter. Just like in the previous meeting with President of Croatia, Vucic discussed with Plenkovic the issue of borders, missing persons, economic cooperation, etc. Croatian PM promised that Croatian villages with majority of Serb population will get electricity by end of his mandate.
Photo: Twitter/Aleksandar Vucic
Vucic’s security service demanded that Serbian President is driven in his presidential vehicle during the Zagreb visit, and this request was met. The entire route that Vucic passed during the visit was secured by special police forces as well as ‘Westin’ hotel, where he stayed.
Some 300 dissatisfied citizens held a protest against Vucic’s visit. The protest was organized by the Association of Widows of Croatian Veterans of the Homeland War. One person was apprehended, the police confirmed.
Serbian President Vucic arrived in Zagreb at invitation of Croatian President Grabar-Kitarovic. The visit was announced in January this year and it triggered reactions both among Serbia's and Croatia's population.