Croatia will strengthen cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina and support Croats living in the country.
Croatian Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač said in Vitez in Bosnia and Herzegovina that the current Croatian government would encourage the strengthening of cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it considered to be its most important neighbour, in the interest of its stabilization but also to give support to Croats living in it, reports Večernji List on April 23, 2016.
“Croatia wants to build strong friendly relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)”, said Kovač who participated at an event marking the anniversary of the establishment of a business zone near Vitez, where Croats represent a majority of population.
He noted that a strong co-operation with Bosnia and Herzegovina was extremely important for Croatia and its current government. The current government will profile its relations with BiH in a new way, said Kovač. “We have the possibility to restructure relations between Croatia and BiH”, continued Kovač. He added that it was incredible that there had been no joint meetings of the governments of both countries for years, although it was a common practice with other countries to facilitate faster resolution of outstanding issues. “We should have regular meetings of the Croatian government and the BiH Council of Ministers in order to solve the problems we have”, said Kovač.
He welcomed the fact that BiH had submitted an application for the EU candidate status. “It has been proven that it pays to be brave”, said Kovač, adding that Croatian authorities were convinced that integration into the EU and NATO was the best way to ensure the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The support to Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina also remains a permanent goal. Kovač stressed that the role of Croatia was not to act in their place, because they themselves should determine what kind of country they will live in and participate in its functional organization which would guarantee their survival. “We will act with that goal in mind, in a very active and rational manner”, said Kovač.
He pointed out that last year 50,000 Croats from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina emigrated to Germany, and added that such processes were worrying. The only answer to this is to strengthen the economy, said Kovač, noting that Croatia wants for Croats in BiH to remain living in that country.