International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

NBS-Serbia’s foreign exchange reserves increase to €15.9 billion

September 9, 2022
The National Bank of Serbia (NBS) said its gross foreign exchange reserves amounted to 15,875.6 million Euro at end-August, up by 852.7 million Euro from a month earlier.
The reserves covered 144 percent of money supply (M1) and almost five months’ worth of the country’s import of goods and services, which is almost twice the level prescribed by the adequacy standard.
Net foreign exchange reserves (foreign exchange reserves less banks’ foreign exchange balances on account of required reserves and other grounds) came at 13,131.0 million Euro at end August, having increased by 796.2 million Euro from the month before.
The increase in foreign exchange reserves reflects primarily NBS activities in the local foreign exchange market (net inflow from foreign exchange purchases and swap transactions totaled 430 million Euro).
A positive impulse also came from the foreign exchange reserves management, grants and inflows from other sources (94.8 million Euro net) and inflows from the sale of foreign exchange government securities worth 336.6 million Euro.
A contribution also came from net inflows in respect of banks’ foreign exchange required reserves (39.2 million Euro), grants (36.9 million Euro) and net inflows in respect of foreign exchange reserves management and other sources (22.9 million Euro).
The effect of market factors was negative in August, equaling 12.9 million Euro.
Trading volumes in the interbank Foreign Exchange Market (IFEM) amounted to 896.3 million Euro in August, down by 167.9 million Euro from the month before.
In the first eight months of the year, trading volumes in the IFEM totaled approximately 6.2 million Euro.
The dinar stayed broadly unchanged against the Euro in August, while gaining 0.2 percent nominally since the beginning of the year.
The NBS bought 450 million Euro in the IFEM in August and, since the start of the year, it sold 905 million Euro in order to maintain relative stability of the Dinar exchange rate against the Euro.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/nbs-serbias-foreign-exchange-reserves-increase-to-e15-9-billion/

Minister Popovic-Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia

September 9, 2022
At a meeting with the newly appointed co-chair of the Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation with Russia, Maksim Reshetnikov, Serbian Minister without portfolio and Committee co-chair Nenad Popovic reiterated the position of the Serbian Government that Serbia will not impose sanctions on Russia, said a press release from Popovic’s office.
„We appreciate the position of our Serbian partners – you maintain an independent position in this difficult current situation,“ said Reshetnikov, who is also the Russian Economic Development Minster.
The two ministers discussed Serbia’s and Russia’s economic relations that are constantly growing stronger, and well as the directions of their further development, while Popovic stressed that the two countries’ joint projects and intensive bilateral cooperation are significantly contributing to Serbia’s economic development, said the press release.
The two officials expressed their satisfaction with the increase in the volume of foreign trade between Serbia and Russia that amounted to 2.8 billion Dollars in 2021, which is a 13 percent increase compared to 2020.
Popovic thanked Russia for the support it provides to Serbia in connection with the preservation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty regarding Kosovo and Metohija (the official name for what the Serbian authorities consider to be the country’s southern province), as well as for following the current situation in Kosovo with great attention, said the press release.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/minister-popovic-serbia-will-not-impose-sanctions-on-russia/

Vucic welcomes Hungarian President

September 9, 2022
A welcoming ceremony for Hungarian President Katalin Novak was held Friday outside the Serbian Palace in Belgrade, with the guard of honor lined up and the intonation of the two countries’ national anthems. She was met by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Novak and Vucic will have a one-on-one meeting, which will be followed by a joint media conference.
Novak will today also meet with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and Parliament speaker Vladimir Orlic and visit the city of Subotica.
This is President Novak’s first visit to Serbia.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/vucic-welcomes-hungarian-president/

Kosovo’s Svecla responds to Vucic-We are no longer a weak people

September 9, 2022
Kosovo Internal Affairs Minister Xhelal Svecla said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s statements remind him of the late 80s and early 90s when the Milosevic regime repression intensified.
After the Kosovo police started patrolling Thursday the border line between Kosovo and Serbia, and the area of the Gazivode lake, Vucic said the Albanians were “trying to quietly take over and occupy the north of Kosovo” and asked Kosovo to withdraw from the area.
“For us who are middle-aged, this is reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s. Milosevic’s propaganda minister is saying this, it is the same language and the same approach that was used before the first four wars in the region were caused,” Svecla told the Pristina T7 TV, KoSSev reported.
Responding to Vucic, Svecla said the Albanian people are no longer as weak as they were and that Kosovo is not occupied. He said the Kosovo institutions are ready to become masters of their own country.
“The Albanian people is not a weak people, and Kosovo is neither oppressed nor occupied as it was back then. We are an independent state and we have institutions that are ready to become God to their own country and we have the best allies ever,” said Svecla.
The Minister denied that there is any violence against Serbs in Kosovo. He said Serb citizens are from Kosovo and they are happy that Kosovo is fighting against the crime and smuggling organized by gangsters and criminals in the North.
Svecla said he had the impression that Vucic is speaking for his audience, just to show that he is nervous.
The Minister confirmed that there are three new Kosovo police bases in northern Kosovo, that one more is under construction and that a new unit for rapid border interventions had recently been set up in the North.
By building illegal special police bases in North Kosovo, Pristina is “dismantling” the Brussels Agreement and illegally taking over the powers of KFOR, which is the only one that has the right to be in the green zone, said head of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo Petar Petkovic.
“This makes it clear that Pristina actually does not want agreements, but conflicts and tension. But one thing is certain – the North of Kosovo and Metohija belongs to the Serb people, not to Kurti and Svecla,” said Petkovic.
“We are determined to restore law and order there. That is a part of Kosovo, this is our country and whatever unit needs to be there will be there. Yes, we also have the support of our allies, who guarantee safety with their presence there,” said Svecla.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/kosovos-svecla-responds-to-vucic-we-are-no-longer-a-weak-people/

UN Coordinator-Canceling EuroPride would be negative advertising for Serbia

September 9, 2022
As a European Union accession country, Serbia cannot afford to ban the Pride, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Francoise Jacob said in an interview with Voice of America, adding that this is not advisable and that she is sure the state leadership knows that.
Even if EuroPride is canceled people will march and that might be even more problematic in terms of security, said Jacob.
The march itself and the whole week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Serbia and Belgrade, to showcase the fact that there is freedom here in every sense of the word, she said, noting that marches and other Pride events have been taking place in Belgrade for a decade.
“I think this year’s event is the culmination in a way – the recognition that this is an important topic for this country. There was a commitment made by both the authorities and the whole community two or three years ago to hold the EuroPride and it’s the first time that this event is held in a Southeastern European country. It is a major event and a major opportunity from many different perspectives. In addition, there is a fairly large LGBTI community here in Serbia and they need to be recognized. The fight for their rights will continue to prevail over the years to come,” Jacob said, adding that the EuroPride is much more than a march which is its most visible part.
Jacob said the EuroPride is an opportunity to show what is being done and what is still missing in terms of the equality of rights for all human beings. She assessed that these are the key reasons for organizing the EuroPride in addition to it being an opportunity to just showcase Belgrade as a future capital city within Europe.
The EuroPride has not been canceled yet, said Jacob, adding: “There’s been a declaration but as far as I know, the preparations continue, not only for the events throughout the week, the Human Rights Conference, the different theatre events, but also for the major visible events like concerts and the march.”
“All of us talking about the Pride, including the political leadership, we need to move away from a conversation that is pouring oil on fire. We need to continue the conversation about the Pride, about what it means, in a way that brings people together, not that takes people further apart. This is a country and a region where we don’t need more topics to take people apart. We need to work on social cohesion. No matter how sensitive this topic is, or how difficult it is for some communities on both sides of the line, we need to make sure that we provide a platform for engagement not reasons for further dividing and splitting of the society,” said the UN Resident Coordinator.
This Pride is officially registered, this particular one was planned in advance so canceling it would not be a very coherent signal, said Jacob, adding that it needs not to be linked to other current political contexts because it is a point in itself, one “that is important for the society.”
Jacob said the event has attracted the interest of many foreigners and official dignitaries and that several European officials and ministers have said that they would attend. “What the current situation and the current sort of visibility has done is instead of lowering the visibility and the interest about the event, it has actually completely brought out the visibility,” said Jacob.
“Frankly I think it would be a disaster for Serbia to cancel the Pride and for this EuroPride not to take place because that would be so visible,” said Jacob, explaining that this attracts much international media attention and that it would make the headlines. “If it is actually canceled it is just going to be a kind of negative advertising that Serbia doesn’t need,” she said.
Jacob said she believes that things have been taken out of proportion this year, for various and wrong reasons and that a space needs to be found for the different parties to come back to an agreement, to calm the situation and to again talk about rights rather than about things related to politics.
“I don’t think the top leadership is supporting this side or that side,” said Jacob, noting that Serbia has an openly gay female prime minister who has been reappointed. I think there is a part of the political community that is dedicated to improving the rights of the LGBTI population, she said.
The Minister of Human and Minority Rights promoted all these issues through dialogue, and a working group was set up on same sex unions, which I worked with. I have seen lots of discussions, lots of arguments, said Jacob.
“We were going in the right direction – not fast enough – but it was happening. This year I think what it happening is not good, and it was unexpected,” said Jacob, describing the announced postponement or canceling of EuroPride as a tactical error.
I am hoping that the whole EuroPride will take place, that it will be an opportunity to reopen the discussion because the situation has showed that there is still strong resistance, said Jacob. “We need to address this resistance which is sometimes purely political, but sometimes it is based on ignorance of what the real topics are,” said the UN Resident Coordinator.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/un-coordinator-canceling-europride-would-be-negative-advertising-for-serbia/

Coronavirus UPDATE: 7 deaths, 3,266 new cases

September 8, 2022
The Serbian Health Ministry said in its daily bulletin on Thursday that 7 people died of coronavirus-related ailments over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 16,786.
It said that 13,679 people had been tested over the previous 24 hours, including 3,266 who tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
The total number of people tested to date stands at 10,771,533 with 2,307,305 confirmed cases.
The bulletin said that there are 575 hospitalized cases, including 27 patients on ventilators.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/coronavirus-update-7-deaths-3266-new-cases/

Kosovo police patrol northern lake

Septtember 8, 2022
Kosovo Internal Affairs Minister Xhelal Svecla confirmed on Thursday that the police started patrolling around the northern Gazivode lake.
According to the minister, a water patrol police unit was formed for the first time. “The Kosovo Police today began regular patrols of the border line between Kosovo and Serbia, as well as the entire area of Lake Ujman (Gazivode). Now, control of the state border is more complete,” the minister wrote in a Facebook post.
Svecla visited the Zubin Potok area (where Gazivode is located) with Prime Minister Albin Kurti earlier this week, including a visit to a new Kosovo police base outside the mainly-Serb village of Donji Jasenovik.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reacted saying that the authorities in Pristina are in full control of the Gazivode lake “in a new violation of the Brussels Agreement … under which the police in the north must be part of Directorate North which means the Serbs have to be in it”.
Serbian Office for Kosovo chief Petar Petkovic said that the “irresponsible war-mongering policy by Kurti’s clique is provoking the Serbs in the north of Kosovo while Belgrade is trying to maintain peace and stability in the region and doing everything to calm our people in the province… I want to remind Svecla that every attempt to usurp the lake and private property in the north to build illegal police bases will not help Pristina take over the north,” he said.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/kosovo-police-patrol-northern-lake/

Croatia’s intelligence chief concerned over statements by Serbian politicians

September 8, 2022
The Director of Croatia’s Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) told Estonia's public broadcaster ERR that Zagreb is concerned about Serbia’s increasingly aggressive behaviour in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A SOA press release quoted Markic as saying that in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the “red hotlines” in communication between Serbia and Croatia have disappeared, adding that Croatia is “concerned about Serbia’s increasingly aggressive behaviour.”
Markic reportedly visited Estonia to “deepen cooperation with the Estonian security services.” In the interview, Markic talked about security and intelligence work “in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine” and about the current security and “political processes in Croatia’s southeastern neighborhood,” which are “affecting Croatian and European security,” Hina cited the unsigned press release as saying.
“Russia has a strong foothold in Serbia and is developing a special relationship with Republika Srpska (the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina), but what is happening in Bosnia and Herzegovina is not all due to the situation with Russia. There is a possible danger there and we are all on alert. At the moment though there is no clear threat because Russia is busy with Ukraine.”
Markic told ERR that Croatia has noticed “an incredible similarity there with the aggression against Croatia in 1991”
“That’s why we are constantly on guard. Now, even if the idea of Greater Serbia has subsided, we now have this idea of the Serbian World, which is similar to the idea of the Russian World. The Serbian government is describing the Croatian government as Ustasha on their official website, and high-ranking politicians in Serbia openly say that they need to think about de-nazification of the region.”
The Ustasha were Nazi-allied Croatian fascists who controlled the territory including most of present-day Croatia and Bosnia in World War II, and who persecuted and brutalized ethnic Serbs.
“Croatia does not want tensions with Serbia,” he said, recalling that Croatia is still looking for information on the missing and those killed in the 1990s war in prison camps in Serbia, and for the ethnic Croat minority in that country “to have a normal status.” He also said that Croatia advocated a united Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He was also asked to comment on Vjekoslav Prebeg, a Croatian national who joined Ukrainian armed groups and was later captured by Russian-backed forces in the siege of Mariupol. Prebeg is now awaiting trial and is facing a potentially draconian sentence in separatist-controlled court.
Markic said that the situation with Prebeg is “difficult” and that Croatia has made some contacts in the way of securing his release.
“There were rumors in Russia that hundreds of Croatians were fighting in Ukraine, but that is not true. There was information that dozens of Croatians were killed in Ukraine, which is also not true. We hope that he will be released at some point. We will work with all partners so that we achieve a positive result,” Markic said.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/croatias-intelligence-chief-concerned-over-statements-by-serbian-politicians/

US government-Judicial effectiveness in Bosnia and Herzegovina declines, again

September 8, 2022
Judicial effectiveness in Bosnia and Herzegovina declined again last year, highlighting the pressing need for the Bosnian judiciary to make prosecuting high-level corruption and organised crime cases its top priority, according to the US government’s 2021 Judicial Effectiveness Index of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as prepared by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
USAID has annually conducted the JEI-BiH survey for the past seven years to assess the effectiveness of the judiciary in BiH and how people inside and outside the sector perceive it.
“The 2021 survey found that judicial effectiveness in BiH has stagnated at a low level, indicating the need to improve all segments of the BiH judicial system. Most importantly, the judiciary must prioritise addressing corruption, the JEI-BiH survey found,” the US Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina published on Thursday.
Although the survey found slight improvements in case handling efficiency and reductions in case backlogs, public perceptions of judicial effectiveness in BiH hit a new low, especially in the handling of corruption cases. As the report notes, the public’s confidence across “…almost all corruption-related indicators were at their lowest levels since the inception of the Index.”
Similarly, the biggest decreases in public perception in 2021 relative to 2015 were related to the work of judges and prosecutors.
“In contrast, judges and prosecutors’ views on judicial effectiveness improved in 2021. However, over the last seven years, judges and prosecutors see the judiciary’s effectiveness as moderate, indicating there is considerable room for improvement,” the report said.
It adds that “of concern, however, are results that show that judges and prosecutors perceived the susceptibility of judges and prosecutors to bribery to be greater in 2021 than in any of the previous years.” In addition, two other corruption-related indicators—the impact of corruption on the BiH judiciary and trust in the impartiality of judges—are among the indicators that worsened in 2021 relative to 2015.
“Judges and prosecutors remained least satisfied with the efficiency of judicial/prosecutorial appointments and with the level of objectivity, adequacy, and applicability in the application of career advancement criteria for judges/prosecutors, which for the most part fall under the authority of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council. The indicator relating to the prosecution of public officials who violate the law also received one of the lowest scores from judicial professionals,” said the report.
“The US government is committed to providing support to BiH to help the country’s judiciary fight corruption and organised crime. BiH authorities must do their part to make sure the judicial system equally enforces the law for all citizens,” it added.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/us-government-judicial-effectiveness-in-bosnia-and-herzegovina-declines-again/

Vucic-Pristina planning to occupy northern Kosovo

September 8, 2022
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday that the authorities in Pristina are planning to take control of the north of Kosovo.
He said that Pristina is trying to quietly take over and occupy the north of Kosovo with European powers and the Quint countries.
“I won’t ask them any longer and now I’m warning the ones and the others not to do this any longer because the Serb people won’t tolerate violence or failure to abide by international public norms. That is my warning to everyone,” he said. “What you’ve done, you’ve done,” he added.
According to Vucic, the Albanians, led by Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, are “going wild”.
Source:  https://rs.n1info.com/english/news/vucic-pristina-planning-to-occupy-northern-kosovo/

Bosnia Grand Mufti at mosque opening in Sisak, Croatia-We belong to each other

September 8, 2022
Events, such as today's, give us hope that faith has its own way to people's hearts, that our brotherhood is possible despite all the forces attacking it – BiH Grand Mufti Husein Kavazovic at the opening of the mosque and Islamic centre in Sisak, Republic of Croatia.
The Head of the Islamic Community in BiH led a delegation consisting of muftis from Bosnia and mosques of the Islamic community in the homeland and diaspora.
Addressing those present, Kavazovic emphasized that the unity shown in Sisak shows the way for them to grow and develop mutual trust and understanding.
“We belong to each other and, as written in our holy books, when one suffers, all suffer; when one rejoices, all rejoice. There is much more that brings us together than divides us” – said the Grand Mufti.
He pointed out that the biggest challenge should be the spread of love and peace among people, and that adversity should not be allowed to discourage this.
“Let this testimony of unity be a reason for a new incentive to work even harder for the good of all of us. When we return to our homes, let's take a vow from this place that we will pray for peace among people every day, so that we will be bold to walk on the path of faith and find on it the hope for a new beginning,” Kavazovic concluded.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnia-grand-mufti-opens-mosque-and-islamic-centre-in-sisak-croatia/

Milanovic, Erdogan agree that problems in BiH election reform exist

September 8, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanovic while visiting this country where, in addition to inter-state relations, he talked about Bosnia’s Election Law reform. Speaking about the reform process, he said that representatives of the three constituent peoples (Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs) can agree on this issue among themselves.
“If you ask me why this problem exists, it arose because of the Dayton Agreement, which didn’t solve the problems in BiH, but, I’ll quote the late Alija Izetbegović [former BiH President], ‘at that time, nothing else could have been done, we had to sign it’,” which actually means that he wasn’t satisfied with it either. Today we have Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs living in BiH, then entities, leaders who represent these peoples, and I believe that decisions in BiH should be made by these leaders by meeting and deciding on it,” Erdogan said.
He noted that there are also certain mechanisms.
“Mechanisms in which we, as Türkiye, find ourselves as well as Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We also have a trilateral mechanism consisting of Türkiye, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and we can meet from time to time and discuss this, especially after the General Elections [in BiH], which will be held on October 2. Therefore, we can meet more often and speed up that process because the unity and integrity of BiH are of great importance. Bosnia paid a heavy price for that, and I don't want anyone paying anything like that in the future,” Erdogan added.
Milanovic pointed out that everyone is trying their best to correct some injustices and direct violations of the Dayton Agreement, which is the basis of peace in BiH and “which is an agreement on the sharing of power” in the country.
“The agreement is terribly delicate and whatever you touch or skip in it, you threaten the whole Agreement,” he said after the meeting with the Turkish President.
“As for the role of the High Representative, I was critical of it. After months of trying – at the NATO summit in Madrid, on behalf of Croatia, which I represent, I said that the High Representative should finally show signs of life and use his powers if things don’t work out differently,” Milanovic said.
“I expected that others would be even more engaged in this, and I don't know what the High Representative in BiH will do, so far he hasn’t done anything. If he does something, I will have to admit that I will be satisfied with him. Mr Erdogan and I, Croatia and Türkiye have different opinions on this. This shows that we need more substantive conversation, not protocol but detailed conversations to highlight some of our problems and fears that Turkey may not be aware of due to its size and distance. Therefore, Croatian politics is a complete, normal BiH with which Croatia will have good relations, and BiH with Croatia and sometimes boring relations, but that's not bad either,” the Croatian President concluded.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/milanovic-erdogan-agree-that-problems-in-bih-election-reform-exist/

Swiss Defence Minister visiting Kosovo and Bosnia

September 8, 2022
Swiss Federal Councilor and Minister of Defence Viola Amherd is visiting Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina on September 8 and 9 to find out about the security situation on the ground and the role played by the Kosovo Security Force (KFOR) and the European peacekeeping force (EUFOR) Althea in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Ministry’s website said.
In addition to visiting Swiss troops and exchanging views with the commanders of the NATO and EU missions, the Minister will hold bilateral talks with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Bosnia’s Defence Minister Sifet Podzic and the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina Christian Schmidt.
“The international military peace promotion is a mission of the Swiss Army. The war in Ukraine has further increased instability in the Western Balkans; the security situation has been worrying for some time. Since 1999, Switzerland has participated in the NATO-led KFOR mission with one contingent. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Switzerland has been involved in the EU-led EUFOR Althea mission since 2004 with a maximum of 20 units,” the Ministry said.
The Swiss participation in EUFOR Althea is the country’s second-largest contingent in military peacebuilding operations after KFOR.
In addition to the bilateral meeting with her counterpart, Sifet Podzic, the Ministry said Amherd will also discuss the upcoming elections in BiH and possible effects on the security situation, as well as the future of EUFOR Althea with the High Representative, Christian Schmidt. Finally, Amherd will meet with the commander of the EU mission, Anton Wessely, at the end of her stay in Bosnia.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/swiss-defence-minister-visiting-kosovo-and-bosnia/

BiH Presidency member Dodik to meet with Russia's Putin on September 20

September 8, 2022
BiH Presidency member Milorad Dodik will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 20 in Moscow, Srna news agency reported Thursday.
This information was confirmed by the head of the Republika Srpska entity representative office in Moscow, Dusko Perovic.
“It is a confirmation of continuously good relations. For now, it is known that political and economic relations will be the topics of the conversation,” said Perovic.
It is important to note that this visit takes place right before the beginning of the BiH General Elections that are set for October 2, which can be interpreted as Putin's support to Dodik, who is otherwise considered one of the few politicians in BiH who supports the Russian President despite the numerous sanctions introduced to Russia after their invasion of Ukraine.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bih-presidency-member-dodik-to-meet-with-russias-putin-on-september-20/

Bosnia expected to dominate Turkish president's visit to Croatia

September 7, 2022
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Zagreb to help boost economic ties between Croatia and Turkey and to open a new Islamic centre with a mosque, but the issue of Bosnia and Herzegovina's election legislation is expected to dominate talks with the Croatian state leadership.
During his visit to Sarajevo on Tuesday, Erdogan opposed any intervention by the international High Representative Christian Schmidt in the country's election law, which is demanded by Croats in order to prevent more numerous Bosniaks from outvoting them again in the general election scheduled for 2 October.
“Decisions on the election law should be made by these three leaders. We don't need any intervention by the High Representative here,” Erdogan told a joint press conference with the three members of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Presidency.
Croatia's President Zoran Milanovic and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic have called on Schmidt several times to use his sweeping Bonn powers to guarantee the Croats equality in the election process.
Erdogan is scheduled to meet with both officials in Zagreb today. He and Milanovic will hold a joint press conference, while the government will issue a press release on his meeting with Plenkovic.
Erodgan and Milanovic will travel together to the central city of Sisak for the opening of a new Islamic Centre with a mosque. The Imam of Sisak, Alem Crnkic, has described the opening of the Islamic Centre as a dream come true for the local Muslim community.
The Islamic Centre stretches over 2,600 square metres and is the third such centre in Croatia, after those in Zagreb and Rijeka. The Sisak mosque is specific for its energy sustainability and is referred to as the first “eco-mosque” in this part of Europe.
The two presidents will then return to Zagreb for a Croatian-Turkish business forum, which is expected to be attended by 75 Turkish and 160 Croatian business people representing the construction, energy, tourism, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, agricultural, financial and other sectors.
Erdogan's visit is taking place under tight security.
The Turkish president last visited Croatia in 2016 to attend a ceremony marking the centenary of Islam in Croatia. It was said then that the Muslim community in Croatia was the best-integrated minority in Europe.
Source:  https://ba.n1info.com/english/news/bosnia-expected-to-dominate-turkish-presidents-visit-to-croatia/

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