“I am going to Croatia, I do not expect miracles, but I am sure that the talks will be healing,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday.
Vucic is convinced that he will have a good conversation with his Croatian counterpart, and when asked about the differences between that country’s president and government, he said he “does not quite understand the argument that the time is not right for the visit, but that it would be accepted.”
“If Croatia – despite the invitation from the president – wishes to say I am not welcome – thanks, if they do not want to talk – thanks. I have no intention of groveling in front of anybody, I am protecting Serbia’s interests,” Vucic said.
Vucic also said that he is “convinced” that relations with Croatia are “better.”
“We have a better relationship to solve problems in a rational way. I think this must be the answer of both sides. I think that talks are needed when we have problems, when they are apparent, and therefore I want to go to Croatia and fight to have peace and stability,” said Vucic.
He also “wants to fight so that citizens of Serbia can have a better future, that Serbs in Croatia have a better future,” and said he was “ready to help Croats living in Serbia to exercise all rights.”
“We will be prepared for a difficult, direct and open discussion on all topics, because we do not want to run away from any topic, starting with the missing (persons) to solving the property rights of Serbs, the right to pensions, he fact that in some villages inhabited by Serbs (in Croatia) don’t have electricity, but also to help the Croat community (in Serbia),” said Vucic.
Vucic’s visit, scheduled for mid-February, has been given much attention in Croatian media. Thus the Rijeka-based Novi List newspaper writes that the Croatian prime minister was not informed the country’s president would be inviting her Serbian counterpart to visit.
And Croatia’s former President Ivo Josipovic commented on Vucic’s upcoming trip to say that he “does not expect great repentance in the style of Willy Brandt” – but does expect the president of Serbia “to show that what was done toward Croatia in Serbia was wrong.”