Vucic Hands Files on Missing Serbs to Croatia :: Balkan Insight

Filip Rudic

3-4 minutes


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic handed over files on Serbs who went missing 
in wartime to his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, as both 
pledged to resolve disputes that have heightened tensions.

On his first presidential visit to Zagreb on Monday, Aleksandar Vucic gave 
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic about a dozen packages of files on missing Serbs from 
the Croatian municipality of Dvor, as they jointly pledged to resolve the issue 
of missing persons from the 1990s war.

The two presidents also vowed to resolve their continuing border dispute and to 
fix bilateral relations, which have remained tense amid repeated rows between 
Zagreb and Belgrade.

“I think Serbia and Croatia will have to have much better relations in the 
future, regardless of whether everyone in the political [establishment] wants 
to or not,” Vucic told media after their meeting.

Asked whether Belgrade will also give Zagreb documents from the Vukovar 
hospital, where Croatians went missing amid a massacre in November 1991, and 
from Serbian prisoner-of-war camps in order to help locate missing Croatians, 
Vucic said that every assistance will be provided 

Grabar-Kitarovic also said they had agreed to do everything possible to help 
resolve the issue of missing persons “as soon as possible”.

“Of course there are many problems in that regard, since a lot of time has 
passed since the war,” she said.

Serbia and Croatia also agreed to form commissions to try to resolve their 
border dispute in two years, and if they fail, they will launch an arbitration 

Belgrade and Zagreb are in dispute over their 136-kilometre border along the 
 . Serbia claims that the Danube should be the natural border between the two 
countries, while Croatia wants the border to be along the boundaries of the 
cadastral municipalities located along the river.

Vucic also said that all Serbian officials will “have an obligation” not to 
insult Croatian officials for the next 100 days, regardless of what their 
Croatian counterparts do.

“Some could say that was our job anyway. True, but it was hardly the case on 
both sides,” Vucic said.

At the start of their joint press conference, Grabar-Kitarovic said that the 
recent tensions made her invite Vucic to Zagreb sooner than she wanted, and 
that she was happy that he accepted.

Vucic and Grabar-Kitarovic also discussed the issue of minority rights in both 
countries, and said that progress has been made.

After meeting the Croatian President, Vucic went to meet Prime Minister Andrej 
Plenkovic, who has previously demanded that the issue of war reparations is 
raised with Serbia.

Vucic will also meet Cardinal Josip Bozanic, head of Croatia’s Catholic Church, 
which is in a dispute with the Serbian Orthodox Church over the beatification 
of Croatia’s WWII Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac.

Vucic’s visit to Zagreb was organized after a period of tension 
  and sharp rhetorical exchange between Serbia and Croatia.

Several hundred Croatian right-wingers protested in Zagreb against Vucic’s 


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