Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday attended the commemoration of the 29th anniversary of the death of Major General Blago Zadro.
The minister laid a wreath on Zadro’s grave and another one on the grave of Alfred Hill, after which he attended a holy mass at the Church of Our Lady of Fatima in Borovo Naselje.
In addition, Grlić Radman attended a commemorative programme held at Zadro’s memorial bust on Trpinjska Road.
The minister answered questions from the media regarding current events, stressing that the handover of Count Josip Jelačić’s birth house to the Croat community for use in Petrovaradin will be a step forward in relations between Croatia and Serbia, but it should not be the utmost effort Vučić’s government.
The reconstructed birth house of Croatian Count Ban Josip Jelačić will be granted to the Croat community in Petrovaradin at a ceremony later on Friday, with Minister Gordan Grlić Radman attending the ceremony as Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's envoy.
Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić is also due to attend the event.
Ahead of the ceremony, Grlić Radman said in the eastern Croatian city of Vukovar that this would symbolically connect Croats in Vojvodina with Zagreb "spiritually, culture-wise and through traditional ties."
However, the handover of the house should not be the utmost effort of the Vučić administration in relations towards Croats in that country.
Grlić Radman announced that he would raise the question of 1,869 people who have been still unaccounted-for since during the Homeland War and of the status of ethnic Croats in Serbia.
We cannot remain indifferent, and it is our duty as officials, politicians and government to find out the fate of those who went missing in the war, said the minister.
"That burdens our relations and it seems to me that it is the most important point that we will discuss in addition to the status of the Croat community in Serbia," he underlined.
Grlić Radman said that Croatia "is an example to all countries in the European context," with regard to regulating the status of minorities.
He recalled that Croatia guarantees three (minority) seats in the parliament and that Serbs are coalition partners and Croatia wants Croats in Serbia to have "equal treatment."
The minister also called for the marking of war camps where Croats were tortured in Serbia, which is something Serbia's president has previously shown support for.
"I do not have any problem in laying a flower at any place where Croats were killed and will do so willingly as that is a civilizational achievement and normal behaviour. However, I cannot be pleased with the expulsion of Serbs from their homes," Vučić said in Brussels in September.
Grlić Radman underscored that it is important to conduct dialogue about that and that it is necessary to provide former POWs with some satisfaction.
All these issues are in the common interest of Serbia "on its European journey," and Croatia "in whose interest it is to have a stable and secure neighbourhood."
"We support every effort by every country in the Western Balkans on their European journey," Grlić Radman concluded.