Foreign Minister Kovač: Tensions in Bosnia Should Be Calmed Down

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Croatian Foreign Minister spoke about the situation in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and other issues.

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovač said on Friday in New York that tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina should be calmed down, and that any referendum that would endanger the existence of Bosnia and Herzegovina was unacceptable to Croatia, reports Jutarnji List on September 24, 2016.

“I am convinced that Serbia will also constructively influence its compatriots in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is no alternative to the survival of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia wants all three peoples to be equal and constituent, so that Bosnia and Herzegovina can move towards membership in the European Union. This is our goal”, said Kovač.

In New York, he attended a dinner of the US-Adriatic Charter, which was also attended by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Asked whether the participants discussed the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kovač said they did not, but added that the United States were aware of the situation and that Croatia would cooperate in preserving the stability of the country.

Asked if he met with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dačić after Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić said in his speech at the UN that Serbia faced some of the most horrific insults from its neighbours, Kovač answered that he spoke only briefly with Dačić. “We want to have normal neighbourly relations with Serbia which is a candidate for membership in the European Union. There is a number of criteria which Serbia has to fulfil”, said Kovač, adding that cooperation was the only way forward.

“Our proposal to colleagues in Serbia is that, once they have realized there is no point in bickering with us, that there is no point in launching verbal attacks on Croatia, in sending letters to various addresses in the European Union, and that there is no alternative to cooperation, our proposal is to work together for the benefit of both Croatia and Serbia. We want for Serbia to progress towards the EU, but the criteria are well known. The first step would be for Serbia to initiate the procedure for amending its law on war crimes jurisdiction and to reach an agreement that Croatian courts prosecute crimes committed in Croatia and Serbian court prosecute the ones committed in Serbia. That would be the first step to demonstrate that we want to have good neighbourly cooperation”, concluded Kovač.

On Friday, Kovač met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, and during his stay in New York he also participated in the trilateral meeting between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Turkey, and chaired meetings of the US-Adriatic Charter and the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).


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