President Disappointed with Serbia’s Statements about Croatia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 29, 2018 – Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Friday that she had invested her “political capital” in the improvement of relations between Croatia and Serbia, warning that “inflammatory statements” from Belgrade could cause irreparable damage to the two neighbouring countries’ relations.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently likened Croatia to Nazi Germany, saying that “Hitler wanted a world without Jews and Croatia wanted a Croatia without Serbs.”

I have invested my political capital in improving relations with Serbia, but I am not happy about the inflammatory rhetoric coming from the other side, Grabar-Kitarović said at the New York-based Brookings Institution. One word is enough to cause irreparable damage, she added.

A member of the EU since 2013, Croatia has been one of the most vocal advocates of the EU entry of Southeast European countries, including Serbia, said the Croatian president. We want Serbia to make progress towards the EU but it must meet all the conditions Croatia had to meet, she said.

At the end of her visit to the USA, Grabar-Kitarović held a lecture at the Brookings Institution about NATO, relations with the USA and the situation in Southeast Europe.

She called on Macedonians, who this Sunday will hold a referendum that is crucial for the country’s European integration, to make “the right decision.” I know that I should not interfere in the referendum, but I sincerely hope that the Macedonian people will make the right decision and embark on a journey to membership in the EU and NATO, she said.

In the September 30 referendum, Macedonians will decide if Macedonia will be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia, as agreed by the two countries’ leaders. The purpose of the agreement was to end a 27-year-long dispute between Athens and Skopje on Macedonia’s name. A positive outcome could unblock Macedonia’s journey towards membership in NATO and the EU.

Grabar-Kitarović dismissed criticisms from some Bosniak and pro-Bosniak politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina that she was interfering in the internal affairs of that country, where general elections are to be held on October 7.

A candidate for the Croat member of the country’s collective state presidency Željko Komšić on Tuesday criticised Grabar-Kitarović over her statement in New York that Croatia was worried about the situation in Southeast Europe, including the fact that the necessary changes of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s electoral legislation had not been made.

Stressing that accusations of interference in internal affairs usually come from undemocratic countries, Grabar-Kitarović said that Croatia was a guarantor of the Dayton peace agreement and had the obligation to care for the Croat community in that country and help ensure their equality in relation to the other two constituent ethnic groups, the Serbs and the Bosniaks.

She called on the international community to focus more on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina “because only one incident can cause instability of the entire region.”


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