Politicians in Bosnia must send out messages that reflect what unites their cities instead of what separates them, the mayors of Tuzla and Banja Luka, Jasmin Imamovic and Drasko Stanivukovic, said after meeting on Friday.
Stanivukovic, who is the new mayor of Banja Luka, the administrative centre of Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS) entity, visited Tuzla and discussed cooperation between the two cities with Imamovic.
“We politicians need to send messages about what connects us rather than what separates us, which is very important because that is actually Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla are important cities and it is important that we cooperate because there are many more reasons for that. It is important that we have the same interest and that we satisfy the wishes of our citizens,” Imamovic stressed.
He said that all Banja Luka citizens are welcome in Tuzla and invited them to spend their vacation at the famous Panonsko Lake.
Stanivukovic, who recently also met with Sarajevo’s mayor, Benjamina Karic, in Banja Luka, said that the international community is “not needed for having us connect with each other.”
“We are human enough that we can do that ourselves,” he said, also inviting Tuzla’s citizens to visit Banja Luka.
“I am glad to be in Tuzla,” he said, explaining that he also visited the town.
“I have fond memories of Tuzla and I am grateful for the warm welcome. It is important that the citizens cooperate, that we talk and I am grateful to God, the peoples and the citizens that I have the honour to visit all the cities,” he said.
His message was that “the time has come to speak the language of culture, tourism, economy.”
“Our peoples and citizens have started to speak such a language, so we who represent them should speak that language,” he said.
“We are changing patterns and languages of intolerance that have no place here. I would like such visits not to be a kind of sensation but a routine,” he said.