Apart from the Croatian and Serbian media, several other media outlets from the Balkan region and wider have been covering Aleksandar Vucic’s official visit to Croatia.
Given the poor record of Croatian-Serbian relations over the past twenty years, the Serbian president’s visit to Croatia gives hope that things may change, yet this will be hard, Ljubljana-based daily, Dnevnik notes in Tuesday’s commentary “Miracle – Serbian Flags in the Middle of Zagreb”.
The newspaper Delo notes on Tuesday that yesterday’s meeting between the Croatian and Serbian presidents in Zagreb is unlikely to bring a breakthrough which would make Croatia and Serbia no longer a hostage of the past.
“But the situation requires at least as much pragmatism as Vucic has demonstrated, but this will not be easy in Croatia. Being aware of this, Grabar-Kitarovic realized that Croatian side should stop playing on the card of the difficult past card just for little bit. She thinks that her being viewed as a traitor for a brief amount of time is a politically smarter than continuing with the policy of feeling offended, which does not go well in Brussels”, the Slovenian news agency, STA reports.
Reuters reports that “Croatia and Serbia vowed on Monday to intensify work on minority rights, border issues and searches for missing persons from their 1990s war, in an effort to improve ties that remain sour decades after the collapse of Yugoslavia”.
“The relations between Serbia and Croatia are burdened with the past, which this time we have not talked about… It is our task to talk and seek solutions for issues which divide us,” Grabar-Kitarovic said after the two-hour talks. Serbia and Croatia are the two biggest republics to emerge from Yugoslavia, which collapsed in 1991. They have sought to improve ties since a 1991-1995 war, but difficulties remain. To join the European Union, Serbia must resolve outstanding issues with its neighbors, including Croatia”, Reuters adds.
Dragan Djukanovic, the vice president of the Centre for Foreign Policy, believes that President Vucic’s visit to Croatia is beneficial for both countries, and that it is important to solve the problems that were caused by the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. As for Vucic’s proposal to put a moratorium on the topics from the past, he says that “it is important that there are no issues that incite the bad mood.”
Asked if it was realistic to expect that the border issue with Croatia would be solved in the next two years, he said that that is hard to imagine given the current course of the talks between the two countries. He adds that the border formed by the Danube River is especially controversial, because the Danube has moved and no longer coincides with the borders of cadastral municipalities.
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