Croatian president Grabar Kitarovic in BiH

Croatian president Grabar Kitarovic in BiH

Sarajevo, September 11, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Citizens of Mostar were pleasantly surprised on Friday afternoon when they had a chance to see Croatian president Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic on unofficial walk through the city. Many of them asked her to take a picture together and, to their astonishment, she agreed in most cases.

During the pause between the two meetings, Grabar Kitarovic went to the popular coffee shop near Old Bridge in Mostar. Drinking her espresso, she watched brave young jumpers and their skill, while they jumped from the bridge into the river Neretva. After the coffee shop, Croatian president went to meet president of Croatian People’s assembly (HNS), Bozo Ljubic, to discuss the position of Croats in BiH. After meeting, Ljubic said that they agreed that support to Croats to achieve equal treatment in political life of this state is essential because “Croats are the glue of BiH and it is necessary to ensure that they will never disappear from political scene of BiH”.

“At this moment, as I said to the Croatian president, we face the fact that Croats in BiH cannot elect their own representatives even in the institutions where they are speaking in the name of national interests, as is BiH Presidency and the House of Peoples. In fact, we are in a situation in which other nations are trying to prevent Croats from managing, resulting in improper distribution of VAT income, Ljubic emphasised.

Before this meeting, Grabar Kitarovic met Mostar bishop, Ratko Peric, and other city and political officials of the Croatian nation. Her second visit to BiH begun on Thursday, when she visited Sarajevo and held a meeting with members of BiH Presidency. After the meeting, she said that Croatia, as a member of EU and NATO, supports BiH on its way to fulfill the conditions necessary for acceptance in the European Union. During the meeting with International community High Representative in BiH, Valentin Inzko, discussion was focused on the current political situation in the country, in particular the obligation of the authorities in BiH to fully respect the Peace Agreement, as well as the new phase in BiH’s efforts to join the European Union through the recently signed reform agenda.

“As I said many times Croatia serves as a positive example for BiH of how decisive progress can be made on the Euro-Atlantic agenda when there is the political will to implement reforms in the interest of all citizens”, said the High Representative.

As it was announced in the press release from OHR after the meeting, Grabar-Kitarović underlined the importance of continued and uninterrupted presence of Croats in BiH, and that the principles of the Dayton Agreement must be respected, guaranteeing the equal position of the Croat people.

The most interesting day of the visit is Saturday, when Grabar Kitarovic will visit Banja Luka to have a meeting with RS president, Milorad Dodik. It was not announced what issues they will discuss but many analysts are assured that Grabar Kitarovic is coming to convince Dodik that many questions from his political acting, such as the announced referendum and refusal to agree with many reforms necessary for BiH’s approach to the EU, are not the best for the future of BiH and the Serb nation.