Croatia Ready to Work with Serbia

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 27, 2018 – The Serbian government’s decision to declare Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević persona non grata is not helping good neighbourly relations, as Krstičević has in no way acted against Serbia, while Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin brought Croatia’s sovereignty into question, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić said in Brussels on Friday.

“Relations between Serbia and Croatia are strained, which is why all statements by high ranking officials must be responsible and tactful. This isn’t the case when statements are made by Serbian defence minister Aleksandar Vulin. All of his statements are entirely contrary to good neighbourly relations, and his latest statements were more than that. They threatened Croatia’s sovereignty and we based our last week’s diplomatic note on his statements that are bringing Croatia’s sovereignty into question,” Pejčinović Burić said in Brussels.

“We had no other choice but to react the way we have. Every sovereign country would have reacted in the same fashion,” said Pejčinović Burić, who was attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry sent a note to the Serbian Embassy in Zagreb on Saturday, saying that Vulin, who had announced his arrival in Croatia’s Jasenovac for Sunday, was not welcome in Croatia for the time being. The ministry condemned Vulin’s statement that “it is only the Serbian Army’s supreme commander, Aleksandar Vučić, who can decide on his travel to Croatia and that this cannot be decided by Croatian ministers”.

The Serbian government on Thursday decided to declare Croatian Defence Minister Krstičević persona non grata. “The Serbian government decided at its session on Thursday to adopt reciprocal measures against Croatia, under which Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević is not welcome in Serbia until further notice,” the government said in a press release.

It said this was a reciprocal measure to counter the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry’s decision of 21 April declaring Vulin persona non grata in Croatia.

Pejčinović Burić said Croatia planned to continue to work with Serbia on outstanding issues which are too important to be neglected. Our approach is very pragmatic, we need to work on outstanding issues, the minister said.


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