Serbian President: “Serbs and Croats Will Have to Be Allies in Future”

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President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić gave an interview to Croatian media.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said in an interview that Serbs and Croats will have to be allies in the future and announced that he would visit Zagreb in November, reports Večernji List on September 27, 2017.

Asked what he sees as the biggest problem in relations between Croatia and Serbia, and Croats and Serbs, Vučić said that he saw the problems, but did not understand them. “I have to be honest. I see them, but I do not understand them, and I think Serbs and Croats will have to be allies in the future, and there will be fewer people who will live in the past of their hostilities,” Vučić said.

The President added that “there is a frequent exchange of accusations between Zagreb and Belgrade, mostly around the issues of the Ustasha, Chetniks, and the status of national minorities.” Asked to comment on when that will end, Vučić said it would “not end soon,” but added that the situation would slowly change.

Asked whether he believed that Croatia would hinder Serbia on its European path, Vučić said it would not, adding that former Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović introduced sanctions against Serbia “for no reason.” “There is nothing that Croatia could do even if it wanted. It can cause problems, but it cannot stop our path to the EU. To be honest, I believe we will have Croatia’s support on this road,” Vučić said.

He added that he respected Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and believed that it was important to work on specific issues and show respect for one another. “That would significantly help in the relations between our states and peoples,” said the President.

Asked to comment on the fact that few politicians can say they are supported by both the German Chancellor and the Russian President, and that after the UN General Assembly he announced visits from Turkish President Erdogan and US President Trump to Belgrade, Vučić said that, after the election victory in Germany, he expected Chancellor Merkel also to visit Serbia.

“But, I do not think we are the leaders in the Balkans, nor that we are involved in some race. I think all of us in this region have one important thing that we have to think about, and that is not to be ashamed to be in the Balkans. We should be proud of the region where we live and demonstrate that we can have fast economic growth and be the engine of the future of Europe,” said the Serbia’s President.

Vučić said that he regularly talked about peace and stability being essential so that people would understand that peace is not something that has been given to us forever. “You have to fight for peace and stability, so that one wrong move does not lead to disaster and conflict. Serbia no longer has the strength for, nor it wants a conflict against anyone,” the Serbian President said.

Vučić added that he feared that today many live in the 1990s and see nothing else, they do not realise that it has been more than 20 years since. They do not understand, he said, that in the 20 years a new generation was born and another one was lost.

“You have to live in the future, understand the past, but know that it is much more important what is happening today, and even more importantly what will happen tomorrow. People who cannot turn towards the future usually misunderstand the present and hardly adapt to what is coming,” said the Serbian President.

Regarding relations with Bosniak politicians, Vučić said that he was the President of Serbia and did not interfere with the internal relations within Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the last five years, he stressed, he did not make any statements that would exacerbate Bosniak-Serb relations, even after an attack on him in Srebrenica.

Asked what he thought about numerous eavesdropping scandals in the region, Vučić said that it was something that was normal when it came to politicians, although such moves should not be expected among friends.

Asked whether Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina had a cause for concern from a possible Serb-Bosniak agreement, Vučić said, “The agreement between Serbs and Bosniaks involves important things to us but, as far as Bosnia and Herzegovina is concerned, no agreement is possible without Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats and they will never be made at the expense of Croats.”

Translated from Večernji List.


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