Former Foreign Minister Kovač Criticizes President Grabar-Kitarović

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Kovač thinks that the President was wrong to sign a declaration with Serbia.

After Miro Kovač, former Foreign Minister and current Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that neither he nor the then government were involved in the preparation of the declaration which was signed in June by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovć and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić, sources close to the President have denounced Kovač and revealed that he was the biggest disappointment for the President in the former government led by Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković. Kovač recently gave a statement that he did not understand why the President signed a declaration with Vučić, reports Večernji List on November 22, 2016.

“I do not know who agreed to that. Anyone who is well-intentioned, and I am, should believe that it was not the President herself. From today’s perspective, it might seem as if someone was trying to damage her reputation. The whole story about it is absurd”, said Kovač, adding that there was a discrepancy in the level of representation of the two states, since “on the one hand there was President of Croatia”, and on the other side “there was just a caretaker Prime Minister of Serbia”.

Kovač was not present at the signing of the Declaration in Subotica in Serbia. “Also, the government did not participate in the drafting of the declaration, while the Serbian government officially adopted it at one of its meetings”, added Kovač.

According to sources close to the President, she already had a pretty low opinion about Kovač, because apparently he did not implement agreements which he and the President had about the appointment of certain ambassadors. Unofficially, the President believed that Kovač “was not someone with whom you could discuss matters, and Prime Minister Orešković did not understand foreign policy”.

The declaration on improving relations and resolving outstanding issues between Croatia and Serbia was signed on 20 June in Subotica, at that time when Kovač was trying, through the Council of the European Union, to impose a condition for Serbia to change its law on regional jurisdiction for war crimes. The condition was not mentioned in the declaration.

Sources close to the current government of Prime Minister Plenković responded to Kovač’s interview by saying that it was not prudent to create the impression of divisions between various branches of the Croatian political system, especially not about foreign policy issues. The government also sent a message that in the future foreign minister would have to be included in similar diplomatic initiatives of the President.


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