ZAGREB, May 10, 2020 – Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar said on Saturday the Janez Janša cabinet wanted good relations with all neighbours and that relations with Croatia had improved even though the border dispute remained unsolved.
Speaking for Saturday’s issue of the Ljubljana Delo daily, Logar said good relations with neighbours “should be based on respect, the rule of law, but also on a certain chemistry.”
He said “there are contentious issues which still haven’t been solved” but that Ljubljana-Zagreb relations had been “reset” and that there existed “mutual respect and trust.”
Logar said the previous Slovenian government sued Croatia before the end of its term over its non-application of a border arbitration ruling without having ensured a political consensus for that.
He said previous Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar “highlighted that border issue at practically every international forum and in all that time we made not one step forward about the arbitration issue.”
He said that caused tensions in the two countries’ communication which the incumbent government was defusing, wishing to solve outstanding issues via quiet diplomacy and better cooperation.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic, a certain distrust was felt in the air which led to problems in international freight transport, but we resolved those issues in cooperation with Croatian (Foreign Minister) Gordan Grlić Radman relatively quickly,” Logar was quoted as saying.
“We were cooperative and well-synchronised, which is a good start for the next steps. The epidemic has put relations on a new starting point.”
Logar noted that Croatia could not put the focus on bilateral issues in the first half of the year because of its presidency of the Council of the EU and that some of those issues could not be solved. This has yet to be put on the agenda, he added.
But Croatia is “on the eve of an election” so the border issue will wait for the next government, Logar said.
As for the Janša cabinet’s stance on the border arbitration ruling, he reiterated that “the arbitration award is clear.”
“We believe that legal acts should be honoured and that’s a negotiating position which is closed for us, while all the rest is a matter of agreement,” Logar said.
More news about relations between Croatia and Slovenia can be found in the Politics section.