On 12 May, Croatia called on all the parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to refrain from any action that would lead to escalation of violence, in which dozens of people have been killed so far, including civilians.
“There is no justification for attacks on civilians,” the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said in a statement last Wednesday, calling on all leaders to help de-escalate the conflict.
Grlić Radman said today that so far Zagreb was in permanent contact with the Croatian Embassy in Israel and was kept informed on a regular basis.
None of the Croatians in Israel have asked for assistance, he added.
It is most saddening that civilians are among the casualties. We extend our solidarity with the families of civilian casualties, and we appeal to all parties for defusing the tensions, the Croatian minister said.
The Middle East crisis has always been very sensitive, and those developments can simply spill over to some other regions, Grlić Radman said.
The European Union with its partners, including the USA, keep calling for multilateral action, he added.
“It is in the interest of all to have a sound, stable, peaceful global order, based on the respect for international and human rights,” he said.
Grlić Radman said he did not believe that the USA was insufficiently engaged in that region and he believes that the Joe Biden Administration will make some headway in that regard.
Commenting on the fiercest fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the last few years, President Zoran Milanović said on Thursday that the USA should define its foreign policy more clearly, noting that the new US energy policy was making that part of the world less interesting than it was before.
“I look at the American position. Israel is defending itself, but is also attacking. (…) The Americans will have to better define their foreign policy and make it clearer,” Milanović said yesterday.
Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, President Joe Biden has distanced himself from the Middle East, but is now aware that he cannot distance himself completely, he said.
“That part of the world is ceasing to be interesting as it used to be because of the US energy policy, notably because of this administration, which is much more focused on renewable sources and less on oil, on hydrocarbons which America now produces in sufficient quantities on its own. So the question is, what is their strategic objective in the Middle East other than being a policeman?” Milanović said. “These are extremely important issues that put us in a moral dilemma.”
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