Serbian National Minority Leader Hopeful about Vučić’s Visit

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, February 2, 2018 – Milorad Pupovac, a member of the Croatian Parliament from the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), said on Thursday that it was important that protocols on good communication and on dealing with outstanding issues be agreed during Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s visit to Croatia, while symbolic gestures such as apologies were less important.

Pupovac was asked by the press in the Parliament building whether Vučić should apologise for his speech in Glina in 1995 when he praised “the heroic people of Serbian Banija and Serbian Glina for being the first to rise against the Ustasha government and liberate the Serbian areas in the Republic of Serbian Krajina.”

“For this meeting, symbolic gestures are not so important as are practical measures in addressing open issues,” Pupovac said, stressing the importance of agreeing protocols on good communication and on addressing open issues.

Pupovac said that symbolic gestures had been made before, but they would not be enough unless the two countries addressed the causes of mistrust between them. “Apologies in themselves, without concrete action regarding war crimes trials, persons missing from the war, refugees, the minorities, the border, succession, would only be a repetition of the same story after which things could turn sour already tomorrow.”

He said that the most important thing was that the visit was well prepared, that all relevant meetings were agreed, and that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković were included in the visit programme. This will ensure that the visit and talks carry the necessary weight which would hardly be possible without the participation of the Prime Minister and the Parliament Speaker, he added.

“It would be a great shame, both for the two countries and internationally, if any of the senior officials, either Serbian or Croatian, missed this opportunity to talk about improving Croatian-Serbian relations,” Pupovac said. “Anyone who would try to avoid this kind of communication would be responsible” for increasing animosity and mistrust, he concluded.


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