Minister Gordan Grlić Radman paid an official visit to Kosovo, where he attended the commemoration of the 720th anniversary of the first written record of Janjevo, the oldest Croatian diaspora.
"For seven centuries, Kosovar Croats have been guarding their identity through language and Catholic faith. The establishment of direct ties with Croatia has solidified their belief that they too are a part of the Croatian people - its oldest diaspora, in fact - and that Croatia is their homeland," Grlić Radman said.
The minister underscored that caring for Croats abroad was an integral part of the Croatian Government's policy, adding that dialogue on the status of the Croat minority was being regularly held with Kosovo's institutions and authorities.
"We would like for Kosovar Croats to enjoy the same rights as does the Albanian community in Croatia, notably personal security and the protection of property, improved infrastructure, and being included in Kosovo's Constitution," he said.
The talks with Kosovo's President Albin Kurti and Foreign Minister Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz underlined that Croatia and Kosovo are two friendly countries with excellent bilateral relations, resulting in frequent bilateral visits. Last week, Kosovo's Defence Minister Armend Mehaj visited Zagreb, while today's visit will certainly contribute to the additional strengthening of bilateral cooperation and intensification of dialogue.
"We have reiterated Croatia's strong support for Kosovo's efforts to join international organisations, such as the Council of Europe and the EU, and welcomed the liberalisation of the visa regime for holders of Kosovo passports," Grlić Radman underscored.
During his stay in Kosovo, Grlić Radman also visited the Croatian contingent within the NATO-led KFOR and met with KFOR Deputy Commander József Szpisják.