After a successful visit to Great Britain, the President has arrived to Brussels.
After an official visit to London, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović arrived in a working visit to EU institutions in Brussels, where she first met today with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, reports Večernji List on October 13, 2016.
“We have talked about a number of topics, primarily related to Croatia, but also with the region of Southeast Europe. We have discussed the economic situation in Croatia, political developments, the expectations from the new government, and the fact that Croatia will take over the rotating EU presidency in 2020. We have particularly discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have expressed my concern with the latest developments and trends that we can see in the country”, said the President after the meeting.
“I have asked Juncker and the European Commission in general to focus more on Bosnia and Herzegovina and to help the country not only in the reform process on its way to EU membership, but also with the structure of the state, in order for all three peoples to be equal on the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Of course, in our case we are primarily interested in the status of the Croatian people”, said the President to reporters after meeting with Juncker.
“I expect that the new government will devote more of its attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina”, said Grabar-Kitarović, adding that Croatia has not sufficiently used its position as a member of EU and NATO. “Of course, no one wants to interfere in the internal processes in other countries, but we should be a catalyst and a factor that will ensure that dialogue results in some sort of progress. We have to explain here in Brussels and elsewhere in the world why the international community absolutely must keep its focus on Bosnia and Herzegovina”, said the President.
At the meeting, one of the topics was Serbia. Croatian President stressed that she expected that the new government would continue a dialogue with the Serbian government on all outstanding issues. Asked what she thought about an initiative by Croatian war veterans leader Josip Klemm, that Croatian veterans should meet with Serbian veterans, and whether she saw the initiative as a continuation of dialogue that began with her signing of a joint declaration with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, the President said that dialogue was always good.
“I do not know any specifics, since I have not spoken with Klemm about it, but I think that primarily the new government must continue communication with the Serbian government on all issues. But, direct contacts between people are also welcome. We should do whatever we can cto ontribute to easing of tensions”, said the President.
“In Croatia, there are a lot of families who are still trying to locate missing persons from the Homeland War. This question should be primarily seen as a humanitarian and human one, and not as a political issue”, concluded Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.