Dubrovnik, Kolinda Grabar kitarovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Nikša MILETIĆ/ ik

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic did not attend a presidential round table debate at the Dubrovnik Forum that started on Thursday because Serbia is not a member of the Three Seas Initiative, however, there is a possibility that it will participate in future projects, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Thursday, welcoming Croatian war veterans' call for defusing tensions in relations with Serbia.

Asked by reporters if she had talked on the phone with the Serbian PM, whose participation in the Dubrovnik Forum had been speculated about, with Vucic himself contributing to such speculation, Grabar-Kitarovic said that she had not but that she would talk with him when she had the opportunity.

Prime Minister Vucic was not invited to the Dubrovnik Forum because Serbia is not one of the 12 EU member countries located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas, Grabar-Kitarovic said at a news conference that marked the end of the presidential level of the two-day conference in Dubrovnik. The event continues on Friday at the ministerial level.

Grabar-Kitarovic said there was prospect of participation of other countries as well in future projects, when the Three Seas Initiative connects to the areas south and east of the Baltic-Adriatic-Black Sea region.

She said that she was aware that in the run-up to elections strong words were used, welcoming Croatian war veterans' call for defusing tensions.

Croatian-Serbian relations, which have been strained for months, have worsened again in the past few days following accusations from Serbia that Croatia is rehabilitating Ustasha ideology and Croatian diplomats' statements that Croatia will introduce counter-measures for Serbian nationals over Serbia's law on universal jurisdiction for war crimes, which enables its judiciary to prosecute war crimes committed in the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia.

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