Foreign Diplomats React to the Croatia-Slovenia Border Scandal

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Some foreign diplomatic reaction to the recent border controversy between Croatia and Slovenia.

The two countries (Croatia and Slovenia), both members of the European Union and NATO, have to resolve this bilateral issue and we hope that they will succeed. We welcome the statements of Croatian leadership which expressed its wish that this border issue should finally be resolved. We encourage both sides to determine the best way forward. – That was the comment of the US Embassy in Croatia regarding the problem of the border dispute. Using diplomatic language, they very clearly stated that the border problem should be resolved, they put it in the context of the arbitration scandal, and between the lines sent a message that arbitration is not the only solution. “The best way” may be, for example, the International Court of Justice.

The arbitration and the scandal are the main themes of discussion among the foreign diplomats in Zagreb. They regularly send extensive reports to their capitals, especially after meeting with Foreign Minister Vesna Pusić who informed them about the scandal. Unlike the United States, other countries have refrained from giving official comments, stressing that this is a bilateral dispute. But, unofficially, they say “this is anything but a bilateral issue. This is not a good situation. Imagine the shock in Brussels after they heard the news. The Balkans, again! It is better not to touch it and avoid being pulled into discussions and conflicts. It’s better just to bureaucratically repeat that the agreement should be respected”, said a diplomat.

Some warned that transcripts and recordings cast a shadow on the work of the court. “What would happen if countries begin to question previous decisions of the court? These are very sensitive things with global consequences, which could be drastic. And everyone knows it”, said a diplomat.

A day after the Croatian parliament decided to withdraw from the arbitration agreement, the European Commission said that it respects the decision, but has received it “with regret”. It affirmed that it “does not see an alternative to the arbitration process” and has offered help in mediation between Croatia and Slovenia.

Source: Vecernji List


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