Zagreb - Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko on Wednesday received Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić and they welcomed the intensifying of the bilateral relations that were characterised by mutual visits by senior officials.
After Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić visited Belgrade, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić attended the inauguration of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. Leko told Dačić that he would visit Serbia this spring.
Outstanding issues must not be a hurdle to the relations and Croatia is genuinely interested in Serbia making progress on its European path, Leko said. The two governments should solve the outstanding issues, first and foremost the issue of people gone missing in the 1990s war, the case of Veljko Marić, a Croat serving a prison sentence in Serbia, and the status of the Croat minority in Serbia, Leko said.
Dačić said all political leaders in Serbia wanted the relations with Croatia to improve, and that the state secretaries of the two countries' foreign ministries were tasked with coordinating the bodies in charge of dealing with contentious issues such as missing persons, the position of the Serb minority in Croatia and the Croat in Serbia, the list of persons accused of or convicted for war crimes, the restitution of Croatian cultural assets, the return to Croatia of 32,000 Croatian Serbs with refugee status in Serbia, and the restitution of their pensions, properties and property rights. Dačić voiced confidence that the Marić case would be solved to mutual satisfaction.
As for the border on the Danube, he reiterated that Serbia was for the frontier going down the middle of the river, but also expressed willingness to solve this issue through international arbitration. Dačić and Leko also talked about possibilities of intensifying economic cooperation, joint appearances on third markets, and the crises in Ukraine and the Middle East. (Hina)