Hidajet Biscevic, the Croatian ambassador to Serbia, told N1 TV on Tuesday his host country's leaders promised that local Croats would participate in the work of Serbia's new government, as well as in the provincial and local authorities.
Asked whether the members of the Croatian minority would be state secretaries in the future government, he said “promises were made for one or two such positions”, but fell short of specifying which ministries were talked about.
“We received such promises, not directly related to a new government, but regarding the possibility of appointment,” he said.
Biscevic added the ‘Croatian Club’ would be opened in Belgrade, as a gathering place for some 2,000 Croatians living in the capital.
“I think we’ve laid the groundwork to start opening the door. We need to be realistic, and evaluate well the legacy of our relations, as well as everything that each side brings with it. Especially when it comes to relations from the 1990s onwards,” the ambassador said.
He added that “it is encouraging that during the last talks between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic we started for the first time to send messages about the need for a dialogue.”
“When I handed over the credentials to President Vucic, I said that my basic task was to move things from the deadlock, be realistic, and do it pragmatically. Without media fuss and high tones. We need to target areas where both sides need to find common interests and work to improve them,” Biscevic said.
“We also agreed to speed up the work in eight commissions that have been stagnant for years. What is especially important is the agreement to work on the files of missing persons,” Biscevic added.
“If we solve at least one case a month, it would be a big step in relieving our relations, given the sensitivity and humanitarian aspect of the issue,” he said.
He said that “mutual mistrust about those issues in the past” was the reason for the delay in shedding light on the fate of missing persons.
“The Americans and Russians had completely different perceptions for 50 years, but they talked, and in the end, they achieved some forms of cooperation. So, regardless of the differences, we should continue to talk,” Biscevic said.