Biščević: Zagreb and Belgrade are “pillars of stability”

Biščević: Zagreb and Belgrade are “pillars of stability”

Zagreb and Belgrade are the “pillars of stability” and peace in this part of Europe and without their cooperation it would be hard to expect that parts of the region will come out of the state of “unfinished peace” and “frozen conflict,” Croatia’s new ambassador to Serbia, Hidajet Biščević, has said.

If politicisation is removed, if the constant repeating of the media and verbal clammer is avoided and if we stick to the fundamental principle of international relations of not meddling in internal affairs, history does not need to remain a lasting source of conflict between Serbia and Croatia, he says in an interview with the Belgrade paper Danas.

Biščević underscored that he is not idealising the European Union because “it is not a magic cloth which wipes away differences, including those of a historical nature.” But, he underlined that the EU offers “Belgrade and Zagreb an opportunity to move away from history,” and to turn to “other paradigms and values, to leave history in the past and for history to not be a stopper of today or tomorrow.”

He underlined as exceptionally important the protection of national minorities in Serbia and in Croatia, stressing that in a lot of ways that is a measure of the “democratic and European capacities” of the two countries.

He pointed to the fact that the problem of the war missing continues to be “one of the most sensitive issues” in the relations between the two countries and that institutions need to help in resolving that “undoubtedly humanitarian” problem.

“I hope that in my first contacts I have properly felt that that issue has been recognised as an important component of Serbia’s foreign policy agenda and in that regard I will advocate that the work in resolving that issue is accelerated,” he concluded.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić received the credentials of new Croatian Ambassador Hidajet Biščević on Tuesday (May 12th) and said he expects the two countries to overcome problems stemming from differing understandings of the past, and to commit to developing good neighbourly relations./ibna