The Foreign Minister of Serbia said in Croatia that the two nations did not have to love each other but to look into the future and deal with the problems from the past.
Ivica Dacic, who took part in the Central-European Initiative (CEI) ministerial meeting in Croatia’s coastal city of Split, added that one should look ahead, avoid the disputed issues and look for a common ground in relations.
“Both Croatia’s and Serbia’s interest is to develop good bilateral relations without seeking mutual love, but look into the future and solve all the problems smouldering from the past,” Dacic said.
He added that a good thing that happened after the two presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Aleksandar Vucic met in Croatia was the selling of the ex-Yugoslav residence in New York and that further developments might come following the return visit.
However, asked when Grabar-Kitarovic might come to Belgrade, Dacic could not give a concrete answer.
“I don’t know… There were ideas, Vucic and Grabar-Kitarovic spoke about it, but there are always issues that drag us back. That’s why we want to tell you to look forward and seek common interests,” he said.
He added that the two countries did not have to agree on everything, "but we are closer to each other than to others who we share some European destination with.”
Speaking about the position of the European Union, Dacic said that the weakening of global cooperation, increase of rightist movements and populism showed that the empowerment of the EU was necessary.
“The abandonment of the multilateralism, conflicts on the European borders, a rise of populism and general radicalisation of the political scene, are just some of the warnings that remind us of the necessity for a stronger and more unified position in looking for common interests in the continent,” Dacic said.
He added that the EU enlargement was the most reliable guarantee of the regional stability and that the progress of every country in the process of the EU integrations had a positive impact to the others in the region.
"In spite of all challenges the EU is facing both on political and economic levels, we believe that a clear EU membership perspective has been and still is the key factor in a series of reforms and progress in the region,” the minister said.
Dacic said that the CEI was a bridge between the EU member states and the candidates and aspirants, adding that the membership to the Initiative was essential for Serbia, mainly because of the accession talks with the EU.