FM: Croatia Is a Friend of BiH, Against Balkan Borders Redrawing

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In an interview for the radio Sarajevo web portal, Grlić Radman said that his visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina this week and talks with the country’s highest officials took place positively and encouraging atmosphere.

“There is no doubt that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia are economically, culturally, and geographically oriented towards each other. They are and must be friends and thus have to resolve outstanding issues through dialogue. And that is the message that we have, I believe, sent during this visit. So, more talks, fewer misunderstandings,” said the Croatian minister, confirming that holding a joint session of the two countries’ governments is also planned.

He said that dialogue on all outstanding issues was important but should not behold in issuing statements to the media but through joint working groups and interdepartmental formats whose members are relevant experts.

“That is, I think, especially important so that those outstanding issues would not be exploited for daily political purposes, which could lead to further escalation of mutual misunderstandings,” Grlić Radman said.

He added that he had clarified in direct communication during his visit to Sarajevo the purpose and content of the non-paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Balkans that Croatia sent to the EU Foreign Affairs Council on behalf of a group of six EU member states as a template for the debate announced for May. He stressed that with the document, Croatia had shown respect and appreciation for Bosnia and Herzegovina, opened space for a deeper discussion on critical topics to increase the European Union’s attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its path to EU candidate status.

In that context, he explained that the need to reform Bosnia and Herzegovina’s election law to eliminate all existing inequalities and improve the political climate and cooperation within the country was also brought up.

Commenting on the alleged document advocating the partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina and changes to other borders in the Western Balkans, published by a Slovenian web portal without identifying the author or the intended audience, Grlić Radman said that he did not want to speculate about the alleged non-paper. Still, he underscored that border redrawing was out of the question to Croatia.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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