President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović says she does not regret having invited Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić to Croatia and that she would do it again.
The President was speaking at the launch of a new book about the issue of missing persons, titled "The Missing in the Homeland War 2". She apologized to the families of the victims for having failed them.
"Knowing even today that some people object to that and how many times have people complained and attacked me because of his visit, the easiest thing to do would have been to cancel it. If I had thought of myself and my approval rating then I would have certainly done that. But how could I embark on delivering on what I promised families throughout Croatia without taking the first step regardless of what the outcome and consequences might have been," Grabar-Kitarović said.
Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tuđman, spoke with Serbia's strongman and the then president, Slobodan Milošević in an effort to end the war because "that was the only way", she said. The issue of the missing will not be solved by the EU, we have to do it on our own and that requires both sides to work together, she added.
The President said she believed the information Vučić brought to Zagreb during his visit, which turned out to be data on persons that had already been identified, was credible.
The book "The Missing in the Homeland War 2" like its predecessor, is a collection of testimonies by parents, spouses, children and siblings of 45 people missing since the 1990s war. Its aim is to encourage institutions to work on this issue and also to raise awareness among those might be in possession of documents about the fate of the missing.
The book's authors Romana Bilešić and Danijela Mikola underscored that their work portrays some truly sad stories and that many families are beginning to lose all hope they will ever find their relatives.