Presidents and prime ministers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia are visiting the Bosnian town of Mostar for the 21st International Economy Fair, aiming to boost regional business cooperation.
The 21st International Economy Fair in Mostar, intended to boost economic cooperation between Balkan states, will be opened on Tuesday by President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia, which is a partner in this year’s event.
As well as Vucic, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov are visiting Mostar for the fair.
Although the tripartite Bosnian presidency is the main sponsor of the fair, the regional leaders will only be welcomed one of its members, Dragan Covic.
Covic is the Croat member of the Bosnian presidency; the Bosniak and Serb members, Bakir Izetbegovic and Mladen Ivanic, are not going to Mostar.
Ivanic and Izetbegovic explained their absence by saying that they had previous commitments, which caused surprise as the presidency accepted the patronage of the International Economy Fair in October last year, when its date was already known.
Bosnian media have focused on the importance of Borissov’s presence, as Bulgaria currently holds the rotating six-month presidency of the EU Council.
Covic said that he will also talk with Vucic about non-economic topics.
“We will discuss all the issues that have remained unresolved in spite of attempts to speed up the dynamics of resolving all open issues between Bosnia and Serbia over the last year,” Covic told Bosnian media.
Milorad Dodik, the president of Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity Republika Srpska, will also travel to Mostar to attend a dinner on Monday which is being hosted by Covic.
Also invited are Vucic, Vujanovic and Denis Zvizdic, the chairman of the Bosnian council of ministers.
“We should be proud that we have the Mostar fair, that it exists, that hotels are full,” Covic said.
“We did something great, and if someone has a comment, we’ll let him enjoy [his] comments,” he added.
Meanwhile Croatian premier Plenkovic will attend a reception on Tuesday for the opening of the Mostar office of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.