Croatia's Ambassador to Belgrade, Hidajet Biscevic, said in the northern city of Subotica on Thursday that the problem that Serbs have a negative perception of Croats, which is why the Croat minority is faced with big challenges.
“Frankly speaking, they are bothered that Croats in Serbia are only mentioned when something negative happens or there is a perception of a negative occurrence,” said Biscevic after visiting Croat minority institutions.
He added that the Croat minority is faced with big challenges and that the meeting discussed ways to improve their status, above all, representation in Serbia’s state institutions.
“We will try to resolve them together through diplomatic and other channels, with the help of Croatia, because that issue is always on the agenda during bilateral meetings,” Biscevic said.
He said that the Croatian foreign minister had sent a letter to his Serbian counterpart calling for cooperation in resolving outstanding issues, and that he was still waiting for a reply.
“We in Croatia don’t hide that friendly, good neighbourly relations with Serbia are in our strategic interest. In that regard we endeavour to resolve some outstanding issues in time so that they would not be an obstacle in the negotiation process between Serbia and the EU. We remain open to cooperation,” said Biscevic.
During his visit to Subotica, Biscevic visited the Hrvatska Rijec publishing institute, the Culture Institute of Vojvodina Croats, the Croatian National Council (HNV) and Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV).
“This visit by the ambassador has sent a message and is proof that Croatia intensively and continually looks after Croats in Serbia,” HNV president Jasna Vojnic said after the meeting.
DSHV president Tomislav Zigmanov said that he highly appreciated the ambassador’s visit and cooperation and that he believes that diplomatic communication between Croatia and Serbia will intensify.
“We look forward to further support from our mother country to the Croat community and continued active interest in its status,” added Zigmanov, reiterating that the key problem is the exclusion of the Croat community from social and political life in Serbia.
This was Biscevic’s first visit to the Croat community since taking up the ambassadorial position in Serbia in May 2020.