Croatia and Kosovo – committed to region’s future in the Euro-Atlantic community

“The Republic of Kosovo is committed to a policy of neighbourliness and intensive cooperation with all the countries of the region, together with which it aspires to get integrated into the European Union and NATO” – Republic of Kosovo’s President Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu said in a meeting with his Croatian counterpart Mr. Stjepan Mesiq today in Istanbul.

During their keynote speeches today at the Euro-Asia Economic Forum, President Sejdiu and Republic of Croatia’s President Mr. Mesiq laid an emphasis on the necessity to boost the cooperation between the two countries. They pledged that they will encourage their respective governments to intensify their efforts in enabling the citizens of Kosovo and Croatia to travel from the first country to the other without visas.
“The citizens of Kosovo move freely and without subjecting themselves to any kind of visa regime in several countries of the region, such as Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, and we are very eager to have the Republic of Croatia provide them the same opportunity” – President Sejdiu said, expressing his appreciation to President Mesiq for the fair and principled politics that the Croatian state and he personally have conducted in relation to Kosovo.
“Kosovo and Croatia have shared many common experiences, especially in the end of the 20th century, and we will never forget the support that this country has always provided to Kosovo” – President Sejdiu pointed out. Further on, he said that with the creation of a free travel zone of a mini- Schengen kind our region would give a particular example to prove that it is become a part of the family of West-European free and democratic countries.
“We in Kosovo are very pleased with your successes and achievements. This is why we believe that your and Albania’s full membership in NATO is another extremely important step to peace and security in the region” – President Sejdiu said, maintaining that the Kosovo Security Force, which is being consolidated under NATO standards, will one day be able to contribute to the stability in the region and beyond.
On the other hand, the President of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesiq, reaffirmed the full commitment of his country to the strengthening of overall relations with Kosovo.
“Besides the diplomatic sphere, where you will always enjoy the support of Croatian diplomacy, there are multiple opportunities for us to work together to the benefit of our citizens and the entire region” – President Mesiq said, distinguishing the good example of Croatia Albanians, generally from Kosova and Macedonia, who got fully integrated in the social and institutional lives of this country and who represent a bridge between the two countries.
The meeting between the two presidents discussed openly various issues important to peace, stability and future of the region. In this context, they both agreed fully that the actions of Serb parallel structures in the north of Kosovo damage everyone and, first of all, the Serbian minority, a part of which, unfortunately, is still being manipulated by Belgrade for political ends.
“We have followed a prudent policy, but we insist that the main address behind the riots in the north of Kosovo is Belgrade, which is inciting extremists to violence” – President Sejdiu said. “The European Union and the entire democratic world” – President Sejdiu added – “should make it clear to Serbia that it may never think of opened doors to integration as far as it does not bring an end to destabilising acts against its neighbours”. “As long as this is not said outright, Serbia will keep on causing troubles in the region” – President Sejdiu affirmed. “However” – he said – “the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo are resolved to engage in providing conditions for the return of all displaced citizens to their estates, regardless of their ethnic background, because Kosovo is a homeland to all its equal citizens and provides security and equal opportunities to all those who wish and are ready to build their future in Kosovo”.