President Sejdiu received the President of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan MesićThe President of Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, received today the President of Croatia, Mr. Stjepan Mesić, who is staying for a one-day visit to Kosovo.
During the meeting, President Sejdiu thanked President Mesić for the strong support that President Mesić and Republic of Croatia have and are still providing to the Republic of Kosovo and its people.
President Mesić is one of those rare personalities who have actively and constantly supported the right of the people of Kosovo to freedom and independence and who has, during his mandate, invested his personal and Republic of Croatias governments entire potential in supporting the positive developments in the Republic of Kosovo, the processes that led to its recognition and the meeting of requirements for European Union and NATO membership, President Sejdiu pointed out.
In addition, President Sejdiu said that it was his honor to award the Golden Medal of Independence to him for his extraordinary contribution to the independence of Kosovo and to its development as a democratic state that belongs to all of its citizens.
On the other hand, President Mesić said that he had an open and constructive discussion with President Sejdiu on bilateral relations, the situation in the region and some other current issues related to the international relations.
President Mesićs first visit to Republic of Kosovo, as he maintained, constituted the fourth stage of laying the foundation of cooperation between the two countries.
First, we recognized Republic of Kosovos independence; second, we have established diplomatic relations; third, we have sent our Ambassador to Kosovo and now I have come here in an official visit as the highest representative of Republic of Croatia. Accordingly, the foundation is here and we have to build on it. This is a task which both parties should embark on in earnest, the Croatian President Mesić emphasized.
He also said that, for decades, they have been parts of a joint state in which Kosovo did not have good experiences, but in which not everything was black, as somebody maintains today. Many relations between Croatia and Kosovo date back then. At that time, many Kosovars received education in Croatia and managed to earn their living and integrated themselves into the Croatian society. He said that, as a result, they became more acquainted with each other and many Kosovars engaged in protecting Croatia during the national war.
Speaking of cooperation between Kosovo and Croatia, President Mesić said that Croatia is ready to assist Kosovo by providing its know-how and expertise in every field, including the way to the European Union.
The road to European Union today seems like a remote future, but I am sure that the independent Kosovo will reach there some day, Mesić stressed out.
President Mesić said that his visit to Republic of Kosovo was not pointed against anyone, but that it was rather aimed at boosting the stability and cooperation in the region, despite that fact that, as he maintained, there were some people who do not share the same opinion now, but that the time would prove them wrong.
President Mesić referred to the urgent need for an uncompromised resolution for democracy and a relentless fight against corruption and organized crime.
He said that he was particularly glad that a cooperation agreement between respective offices of state prosecutors of both countries would be signed during his visit.
In the course of his visit to our country, President Mesić will visit Janjeva, were a considerable number of members of Croatian community reside. He will also visit the KFOR Croatian contingent.
Answering a question posed by journalists about the probability of accession of the countries of the region into the European Union, President Mesić said that this was not an impossible mission, as he maintained that the regions architecture was prepared, that the entire region should accede to the European Union and that Europe should be united, underscoring that it was only a matter of how fast this will happen.
Concerning the five member countries of the European Union that have not recognized Kosovo yet, President Mesić said: Kosova had an autonomy as a constitutive part of the Yugoslav Federation, but there is no Yugoslav Federation anymore and, since the Kosovo issue could have only be resolved by talks and those talks have failed, Kosovo has used the opportunity that was granted to it by the 1974 Constitution and has declared its independence, and Croatia has recognized this new reality and is striving to ensure that other countries will recognize this new reality in the region. He said that this would help them organize better the cooperation in our region and beyond.
This was President Mesićs first visit to Republic of Kosovo, during which he extended an official invitation to President Sejdiu to visit the Republic of Croatia.