Plenković: Croatia Stands Together With Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croats There

Total Croatia News

The visit comes a few days after the conviction of six Bosnian Croats for war crimes.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Monday in Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) that Croatia would support BiH and do everything to ensure that Croats in that country were equal in their rights with Bosniaks and Serbs, reports N1 on December 5, 2017.

Plenković arrived in Mostar in a bid to calm the BiH Croats concerned about possible consequences of the recent ICTY ruling against their former military and political leaders. “Croatia is above all standing together with BiH, standing with the Croats in BiH. We will do everything so that Croats here are an equal people long-term and that the equality between the three peoples is respected,” Plenković told journalists.

Together with the Croat member of the BiH Presidency Dragan Čović, Plenković laid a wreath and lit candles in front of the memorial to Croatian soldiers, where thousands of candles were recently lit for the six Croats convicted of war crimes, including Slobodan Praljak, who committed suicide in an ICTY courtroom.

Plenković stressed that Croatia had tried to support the BiH Croats at the international level “by strengthening the cooperation between the two countries and the constitutional status of Croats in BiH.” Of particular importance is the issue of the elections that will be held next year in BiH, in the context of the need to change the electoral law. The Croatian Prime Minister also spoke briefly with representatives of the victims’ associations and former soldiers.

Chairman of the BiH Presidency Čović thanked Plenković for coming to Mostar and added that during his two-day stay they would discuss “the verdict and many other issues regarding the Croat people’s position in BiH.” The two officials had a working dinner last night, and on Tuesday they will meet with the leadership of the Croatian National Assembly, a forum which gathers Croatian political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Prime Minister is accompanied by Deputy Speaker of Parliament Milijan Brkić, Justice Minister Dražen Bošnjaković, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Zdravka Bušić, and State Secretary at the Central State Office for Croats outside Croatia Zvonko Milas.

On Wednesday, the Appeals Chamber of the Hague Tribunal (ICTY) confirmed sentences against six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders as participants in a joint criminal enterprise of ethnic cleansing of Muslims, in which the then Croatian leadership led by President Franjo Tuđman was also involved.

Speaking earlier in the day in Zagreb, Plenković said that Croatia respected the court’s ruling, but was dissatisfied with some of its parts, especially those which alluded to the responsibility of the former Croatian state leadership. “You saw a very detailed statement after the verdict, and I would like for this statement not to be misinterpreted. It should be read just the way it was written. This is very important in order not to create the impression that Croatia does not respect the verdict,” said Plenković. It is something else to express your dissatisfaction with some parts of the verdict, Plenković said, especially “when, as a state, you try to get involved in the process three times, and then there are allusions about the responsibility of the then Croatian state leadership.”

Translated from N1.


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