Bosnian Ambassador Borisa Arnaut submitted his credentials to the Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Belgrade on Wednesday.
Addressing reporters for the first time upon his arrival in Serbia, Borisa said that his priorities will be developing good-neighbourly relations, eliminating differences and finding common interests between Serbia and Bosnia.
“We should always work on improving our relations as we can join the EU only as good neighbours and not with quarrels and differences. We should try to find common interests and points where we can understand each other, and we should establish firm and direct links between Sarajevo and Belgrade,” Arnaut said.
Bosnia has not had an ambassador to Serbia for the past several years; ambassadorial duties have been performed by a chargé d’affaires.
Belgrade had previously refused to accept the appointment of Arnaut and one other nominee for reasons that were not made public. Bosnian media speculated that Serbia suspected Arnaut, who is himself a Serb, of involvement in awarding Bosnian citizenship to Arab fighters who fought alongside Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) during the country’s 1992-95 war.
Arnaut said he would visit Ilija Jurisic, who is in the custody of the Serbian Council for War Crimes in Belgrade. Jurisic, a Bosnian citizen, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for an attack on the Yugoslav People’s Army, JNA, in Tuzla in May 1992.
Arnaut reportedly didn’t talk about the arrest of Ejup Ganic, a member of Bosnia’s wartime presidency. “I just submitted my credentials an hour ago so I did not mention it because I have no information,” Arnaut said.