Croatian President Congratulates Serbian President-Elect Vučić

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Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović congratulated current Serbian Prime Minister on winning the presidential elections.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović congratulated the new Serbian President-elect Aleksandar Vučić, who is currently Serbian Prime Minister, adding that she hoped they would find solutions to the outstanding issues between the two neighbouring countries and pledging Croatia’s support for Serbia’s path towards the European Union. The current Serbian Prime Minister Vučić won Sunday’s presidential elections in Serbia, winning in the first round with more than 55 percent of the vote, reports Večernji List on April 3, 2017.

“I would like to extend warm congratulations on the occasion of your election to the office of the President of Serbia. I am convinced that you will successfully work in this responsible position towards the overall progress of your country and for the benefit of all its citizens,” reads the congratulatory message from Croatian President.

Grabar-Kitarović believes that she and Vučić will contribute in the coming period to the improvement of Croatian-Serbian relations, with the goal of finding solutions to outstanding issues that currently burden the relations between the two neighbouring countries. “I want to stress that Croatia supports the European integration of Serbia and is ready to continue to transfer knowledge and experience from this demanding process that it has itself recently passed,” said Grabar-Kitarović, who believes in successful cooperation in the framework of the Brdo-Brijuni process, a forum for dialogue on strengthening cooperation and stability in Southeast Europe.

Grabar-Kitarović and Vučić signed in June 2016 the declaration on strengthening relations and solving outstanding issues – including the protection of minorities, identification of the border between the two states, solving succession issues of the former Yugoslavia, and searching for missing persons from the 1990s war. The six points of the declaration state among other things that the two countries will accelerate bilateral protection of minorities and will “actively begin preparations for activities of the state commissions on determining the boundary line between Serbia and Croatia.” Also, the document provides for the search for the missing persons to become a priority as a humanitarian issue. The declaration states willingness to actively work in the fight against terrorism and with regards to the refugee crisis, while the final point expresses willingness of the two countries to actively participate in joint developmental and cross-border projects of the European Union.

“With this Declaration, we are committed to personally do everything in our power to finally head towards the resolution of outstanding issues,” said President at the time. She stated that she believed that the accumulated problems between the two countries were partly a consequence of the lack of communication. “I will personally do everything I can to promote the culture of dialogue, co-existence and mutual respect, especially at the local level, in order to solve very specific problems that people face every day,” said the President.

Serbian Prime Minister Vučić added at the time that he offered solutions to some of the problems of Croatian minority in Serbia. “These do not have to be some spectacular results. I am not saying that Croats will start to love the Serbs, nor that many Serbs will like Croats, but everything that we do together will be a big step forward,” said Vučić.


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