Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarevic says her country will help neighboring Bosnia walk the "long and difficult path" toward European Union membership.

Croatia is the EU's youngest member while Bosnia — plagued by economic stagnation, a 44 percent unemployment rate and constant inter-ethnic bickering — does not yet have a candidate status.

One of the three main ethnic groups in Bosnia are the Bosnian Croats who almost all hold dual citizenship and vote in both countries. They seek to get their own autonomy within Bosnia and expect Croatia to help them achieve it.

During a visit to the Bosnian capital Tuesday, Grabar-Kitarovic said Croatia will respect any deal made internally between the country's Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

The visit was Grabar-Kitarovic's first international trip since being elected as president.