Croatia to Support Bosnia and Herzegovina on Its European Path

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Croatia to support BiH on its path to EU entry. 

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovač and his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak met in Sarajevo where they expressed their wish for bilateral relations between the two countries to be strengthened and announced that Croatia will provide support to BiH on its path towards European integration, reports on January 30, 2016.

The new head of Croatian diplomacy selected Sarajevo for his first foreign destination and said that his decision was a clear indicator of the commitment of the new Croatian government to improve relations with its neighbours. “Croatian government has decided to improve relations with our neighbours, particularly with BiH. We want to show that there is continuity of the Croatian foreign policy towards Bosnia and Herzegovina as a stable and functioning state in which all three peoples live on an equal footing”, said Kovač to reporters after his meeting with Crnadak. He added that Croatia, as a signatory of the Dayton Agreement, has a special responsibility towards BiH and actively supports its bid for EU membership.

On 15 February in Brussels, the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina are expected to submit a request for the candidate status for EU membership and Minister Kovač has announced that Croatia would soon after undertake specific measures to assist BiH in solving technical conditions which must be met. “We will try to sign a European Partnership Agreement which should provide a framework for supporting BiH in its first steps after the filing of the EU membership bid”, said Kovač. He explained that BiH has a lot of work to do and pointed out that BiH is Croatia’s fourth largest foreign trade partner.

Asked what kind of attitude will the new Croatian government have when it comes to the functioning of BiH, Kovač said that they wanted to ensure complete equality of Croats in agreement with the other peoples and indicated that there would be no change in the approach of Croatia towards Bosnia and Herzegovina. “We wish for the Croatian people to be equal and to have a dialogue with Bosniaks and Serbs in order to find a solution for how the state should function. We will provide support to all peoples to find a solution that will be reached in a joint agreement”, said the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

BiH Foreign Affairs Minister Crnadak said that the authorities in his country consider it to be very important that the new Croatian Foreign Affairs Minister had decided to go to BiH for his first foreign visit. “I think that this sends a very important message of support to BiH on its European path. We have agreed as next-door neighbours to strengthen our bilateral cooperation”, said Crnadak adding that the relationship had been excellent so far but that they want it to be even better. He thanked Croatia for its support of BiH on its European path. “We are going through the process which Croatia had gone through not so long ago and there are lots of things that we can learn from Croatia”, said Crnadak.


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