Croatian Foreign Minister Talks About Migrant Crisis and Borders

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Miro Kovač talks refugee crisis in Amsterdam. 

Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač said yesterday in Amsterdam that the priority for Croatia was not to become a collection point for refugees and to remain a transit country. If the countries such as Germany and Austria close their borders, Croatia will do the same, said Kovač who participated in an informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers, reports Vecernji List on February 6, 2016.

“Interior Minister Vlaho Orepić has already had meetings about the cooperation with neighbouring countries in connection with the refugee crisis. We have reached an agreement with Slovenia, Austria, Serbia and Macedonia to jointly carry out profiling of migrants on the border between Macedonia and Greece and in this way make a contribution to a European solution for the refugee crisis”, said Kovač.

“It is clear that in the end it all depends on countries receiving refugees, especially Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden. As long as they are receiving refugees, Croatia will remain a transit country. But, it is possible that the number of refugees admitted could be reduced and that borders might even be closed. That would create a domino effect, with Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia also closing their borders. For now, everything works well, and we in Croatia want things to be civilized and humane, but we will strongly protect our territory”, said Kovač.

Kovač also talked about the relations with neighbouring countries. “My first visit was to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We want to support BiH’s bid for membership in the EU, we want the Bosnian Croats to be satisfied as a constituent people, together with other peoples in the country”, said Kovač. Kovač also visited Hungary and had talks with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto. “We have agreed that we will communicate in a civilized, constructive manner. There are plenty of problems that we must solve together, and these problems will gradually be solved in the spirit of good-neighbourly and friendly relations”, he said.

The meeting of EU foreign ministers also included ministers from candidate countries, so Kovač expected to talk with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić as well. “We want to have with all our neighbours better relations than we had when we came to power. It will not be easy and fast, but we have the good will”, said Kovač. He added that had a brief conversation with Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and that they had agreed to have a joint meeting in the near future.


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