The political leader of ethnic Croats in Vojvodina, Tomislav Zigmanov, has said he hopes that the forthcoming meeting of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Serbian Prime Minister Alčeksandar Vucic, scheduled for Monday in Subotica and Tavankut, will help increase the perception of the ethnic Croat community among Serbian leaders.
"It should be underscored that for the first time in four years representatives of the Croat community in Serbia will have an opportunity for meeting Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic. It is important for us that this will happen in Tavankut, (a Vojvodina) town with predominantly Croat population," Zigmanov said.
In his statement for Hina, Zigmanov described Tavankut as "a mirror of not only unfavourable social and political conditions in which Vojvodina Croats live but also of successful efforts of local Croats to make progress and preconditions for their survival."
He hopes that the meeting of the two countries' officials and their visit to Vovjodina would pave the way to the institutional form of communication and cooperation of Vojvodina Croats with Serbia's authorities in efforts to settle "accumulated problems we are faced with."
Zigmanovi, a deputy of the Democratic Alliance of the Vovodina Croats (DSHV) in Serbia's parliament, recalled that that apart from a lack of communication and cooperation to date, Vojvodina Croats were also "targets of groundless attacks by top state officials" in the run-up to the last parliamentary election.
Therefore, he is looking forward to the establishment of official communication between the senior officials of the two countries.
Zigmanov welcomes the planned signing of a declaration on enhancing the Croatia-Serbia relations as a positive step.
An estimated 58,000 ethnic Croats live in Serbia, and they are mainly in the northern province of Vojvodina.
Grabar-Kitarovic and Vucic will first meet in Dalj, easternmost Croatia, on Monday and after that they will cross the border to visit Tavnkut and Subotica, Serbia.
They are expected to sign a political declaration of "exceptional importance and weight," that will include the issues of the respective minorities, people missing in the 1991-1995 Homeland Defence War, border demarcation and succession, the President's Office reported on Friday, underscoring that both countries wish to draw the line and move ahead in relations.
This will be Grabar-Kitarovic's first visit to Serbia in her presidential term - even though it is not considered to be a state visit but a working visit - Grabar-Kitarovic and Vucic will sign the political declaration that will not have a binding nature of a treaty but has a strong political message for the public in both countries and the international community,