Croatia: Referendum in the Republika Srpska is Unacceptable

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Croatian Foreign Minister reacts to possible referendum in the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The referendum in the Republika Srpska is not acceptable for Croatia and we expect that the authorities in Belgrade will exert influence on the leaders of the Serb entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač, reports Večernji List on September 1, 2016.

Croatia is a country that has co-signed the Dayton Agreement and as such wants for Bosnia and Herzegovina to survive as a state and progress towards EU membership, with Croats as an equal and constituent people, said Kovač. “All that is not compatible with referendum on independence and secession of the Republika Srpska”, said Kovač.

Kovač yesterday chaired a meeting of the government’s Commission for Monitoring the Implementation of Benchmarks in Negotiating Chapters 23 and 24 on Accession of Serbia to the European Union. The meeting was also attended by Justice Minister Ante Šprlje and Veterans’ Affairs Minister Tomo Medved. The committee first met in late July, and yesterday it reviewed the implementation of conclusions from that meeting.

Foreign Minister Kovač said that “this Croatian government and Croatia as a state do not take part in fruitless discussions and attacks that we as a state have experienced coming from the Republic of Serbia”. “We do not invite members of diplomatic corps to urgent meetings, we do not attack Serbia with references from the history and from the Second World War, but we want to cooperate normally and on the basis of good neighbourly relations in the European spirit”, concluded Kovač, adding that Croatia wanted Serbia to start fulfilling its obligations and that it is ready to help its neighbouring country.

The referendum in the Republika Srpska, which challenges the authority of the central judiciary bodies, is seen by many as a possible prelude to a referendum on possible secession of the Republika Srpska from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republika Srpska is one of two entities which make Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is dominated by Serbs, while the other entity, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is mainly inhabited by Bosniak and Croats.


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