Experienced diplomat from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Nerkez Arifhodzic recalled the events during the visit of the British King Charles III to Jablanica and Mostar in 1978. He was then a prince who visited several Yugoslav cities.
As Arifhodzic himself pointed out, he was responsible for Charles’ stay in BiH. Previously, he worked as a Yugoslav diplomat in Brussels. He explained why it was a specific visit.
“His visit had a specific character. It was neither an official nor a working visit to the Socialist Republic of BiH. Prince Charles was on a mission to strengthen relations between Great Britain and Yugoslavia, which was the paramount task of the British prince, but also a kind of historical and educational visit to the sources of the heroic epic of the anti-fascist struggle in Yugoslavia,” he pointed out.
“The visit to Jablanica and the Partisan monument on Makljen, on the first day, showed everyone how the British Empire treats anti-fascism and its allies from Yugoslavia, which Prince Charles will demonstrate the next day, when visiting the Partisan Cemetery in Mostar,” said Arifhodzic.
He emphasized that it was inspiring, as he pointed out, to follow such commitment to the history of allies in the fight against fascism and dark forces in Europe. He reminded that such forces have not yet been defeated, and as an example he highlighted the recent destruction of the Partisan Cemetery. He was impressed by Charles’s walk through the streets of Mostar.
“Prince Charles walked through Mostar, was on the Old Bridge, walked along Kujundziluk, talked to people on the street, drank herbal medicine from a kujundzija (silversmith) who gave him a souvenir. He saw for himself the freedoms of life in BiH at that time. He was an interested visitor who was fed by the views to a society that was developing in a socialist, self-governing way. I think he came back with good impressions,” said Arifhodzic.
Arifhodzic met Charles and his wife Camilla in 2007, when they visited British soldiers who were on a peacekeeping mission in BiH in Banja Luka.
“I want to share this memory with others, especially young people, in order to emphasize that relations with other countries and cultures are built over the long term, that diplomacy has many ways of expression and leaves traces that should be preserved and always renewed,” said Arifhodzic, Klix.ba reports.