Filip Vujanovic, the President of Montenegro, gave tribute to the Croat Civil Society of Montenegro for its achievements in bringing about reconciliation between Montenegro and Croatia.
Vujanovic awarded a medal to Tripo Schubert, the chairman of the society, on Tuesday, at a ceremony held in the presidential residence in Cetinje, the old Montenegrin royal capital.
This formal acknowledgment of the society’s achievements was proposed by the National Community of Montenegrins in Croatia, with the support of the Association of the Volunteers of the Croatian Homeland War and “Boka navy 809”, an association of sailors from the Montenegrin bay of Kotor.
The Croat Civil Society of Montenegro was founded in 2001, with the goals of preserving Croatian national identity in Montenegro and building “bridges of trust” between Montenegro and Croatia.
The Croatian Presidents, Ivo Josipovic and Stjepan Mesic, have also honoured the society in the past.
Relations between Croatia and Montenegro have significantly improved since 2000, given the past enmity between the two former Yugoslav republics.
Although a state of war was never declared in Montenegro, Montenegrin soldiers participated in the bombing and siege of Dubrovnik, an ancient Croatian port, in 1991 and 1992.
The relations between the two countries were further embittered by a border dispute over the Prevlaka peninsula and by the alleged war crimes which both sides inflicted upon each other.
Milo Djukanovic, the former Montenegrin Prime Minister and President, apologised to the Croatian people in 2000 for all the suffering and losses that Montenegrin soldiers had inflicted upon them.
This event, together with the proclamation of Stjepan Mesic as the first honoured citizen of Podgorica in 2007, represents a milestone in relations between the two countries.
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