“The presidents of Croatia and Serbia have pledged to intensify work on border issues, minority rights, and searching for missing persons from their 1990s war in an effort to improve strained bilateral ties.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic kicked off an official two-day visit to Croatia — the first official meeting between the Serbian and Croatian heads of state in five years — by holding talks with his Croatian counterpart, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, on February 12.

Grabar-Kitarovic said that it was ‘unfortunate’ that the ‘past is still preventing us from being able to describe the relations between our two countries as friendly.’

‘It is our obligation to meet and talk and find common interests,’ she said after meeting with Vucic, adding that the two countries had a ‘common responsibility for the future of southeast Europe.’

Vucic said he came to ‘discuss all our open issues, which are many.’

‘In the next 100 days, we will try to change the atmosphere,’ he added.

Croatia and Serbia are the two largest republics to emerge from Yugoslavia, which collapsed in 1991 and descended into a bloody war. They have sought to improve ties since, but tensions remain.” (RFE/RL)