arajevo - At the end of the first day of his official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday, Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko met in Sarajevo with members of the Interreligious Council, which brings together representatives of the largest monotheistic religious communities in the country, and held separate talks with the Archbishop of Sarajevo, Cardinal Vinko Puljić.
Speaking to the press after the talks, Leko said that Puljic and he had discussed how to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina was a functioning state in which the Croats would be guaranteed all rights, noting that this was of extreme importance for the country's integration into the European Union. "It is very important for us to hear the views of the Catholic Church at meetings like this," Leko said, adding that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was also discussed with representatives of the Interreligious Council. "That enables us to advocate the views of politicians and institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, including the Catholic Church, in our contacts with representatives of European Union member states."
Cardinal Puljić said that Leko and all other members of the Croatian Parliament delegation had shown a sincere interest in the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. "We now expect Croatia to lobby for Bosnia and Herzegovina in Europe to help it find its rightful place in Europe and to help it become a normal country where everyone will have equal rights," the archbishop said.
On Wednesday, the Croatian Parliament delegation is due to visit the central Bosnian municipalities of Vareš, Žepce and Usora to meet for talks with local government officials and Croat community leaders.