President and Supreme Commander of the Croatian Armed Forces Zoran Milanovic participated in Petrinja on Monday in a send-off ceremony for the 37th Croatian Army Contingent to NATO's KFOR mission in Kosovo, and he asked on this occasion why no Croatian officer could participate in the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Speaking at the send-off ceremony at the ‘Colonel Predrag Matanovic’ barracks in Petrinja, President Milanovic told members of the Croatian contingent that they were professionals who would do their duty and tasks professionally and well, the office of the president said.
“Kosovo is an internationally recognised state. Serbia doesn't accept that, and as it is, it won't anytime soon. But we don't interfere in that policy more than what we did many years ago, when we recognised Kosovo. Not in order to spite Serbia, as that is not the way I see foreign policy or Croatia's behaviour in the world, but in order to reward Kosovo for everything it had been through,” the president said.
He added that he hoped Croatia would also soon be present in the EUFOR mission – the EU's military deployment overseeing the peace implementation in Bosnia and Herzegovina – “from which we are kept at a distance,” adding that he considered that “unacceptable and irritating” after 25 years, the press release said.
“We haven't thought about that yet, but I set myself the task of clearing it up and getting an answer from those decide on it — why no Croatian officer can be in that mission. Until I get an answer to that question, I won't stop repeating it,” President Milanovic said.