Saturday, 25. October 2014 - 11:10
31. 05. 10. - 13:00
The Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and the Prime Minister of one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s (BH) governing entities Republika Srpska (RS) Milorad Dodik have expressed satisfaction with their meeting that took place over the weekend.
"We are thankful for Josipovic’s decision because a direct visit is the best way to ensure solutions to the problems of those who live here," Dodik said after the meeting in Derventa.
Both said this was a first meeting out of many they expect to have in the future to address questions of mutual interest such as the protection of the River Sava, building of hydroelectric plants and getting rid of bureaucratic red tape preventing refugees from entering.
Josipovic said that BH is an important partner for Croatia, who supports its unity and the equality of all of its peoples, the Croatian daily Jutarnji List writes.
"Bosnia and Herzegovina is peaceful and stable and arranged according to its people’s wants," Josipovic said.
Milorad Dodik, who had in the past advocated RS secession from Bosnia and Herzegovina, confirmed his commitment to a unified country arranged according to the Dayton Agreement that has created two governing entities (RS and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH)). He also emphasised internal agreements over outside intervention.
Dodik invited Croats to return to Posavina assuring them that the RS would ensure their security and peaceful existence.
Josipovic said that his visit’s objective is to encourage the return of Croats who used to live in these parts. Some 50 percent of Croats have returned to FBH, while only five percent have returned to the RS.
Together with other representatives of the Croatian government, President of RS Rajko Kuzmanovic, and president of (Bosniak) Party of Democratic Action (SDA) Sulejman Tihic, Josipovic and Dodik laid wreaths outside of the memorial church for Serb victims of paramilitary Croatian forces who died in 1992.
Josipovic said that they came to pay respects to the victims and give condolences to their families.
"I think it is especially important that we have people of all religious and ethnic backgrounds here," Josipovic said.
Dodik added that this gesture is the best way for building coexistence, peace and stability in the region.
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