Plenković: We will Never Ratify Arbitration Ruling But Issue will be Resolved

Total Croatia News

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On the eve of the Bled Strategic Forum, Plenković met bilaterally for the first time with the recently inaugurated Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon.

The officials discussed the improvement of mutual relations, the energy situation and cooperation, joint initiatives at the level of the EU, the strengthening of economic cooperation, Croatia’s assistance to Slovenia during this year’s devastating wildfires, and excellent tourism results, with more than a million Slovenians having vacationed in Croatia in the first seven months of this year.

Talks on the border issue between the two countries and the arbitration tribunal’s ruling, which Croatia does not recognise, were also on the agenda.

After a unanimous decision by the Sabor, Croatia abandoned the arbitration procedure in 2015, after it was compromised by the Slovenian member of the arbitration tribunal, Jernej Sekolec, and Slovenia’s representative before the tribunal, Simona Drenik, who influenced other members of the tribunal and manipulated the relevant documents.

Plenković said that as far as Croatia was concerned that judgment “does not exist” and that the two countries “can discuss various topics, but the Sabor will never ratify the ruling.”

“I think it’s up to us now to work in a good spirit on all the topics that connect us,” Plenković underscored.

“Croatia and Slovenia are friendly countries and we need to focus on what brings us together, not what separates us, and in time, that topic will be resolved.”

Plenković, who is participating in the 17th Bled Strategic Forum, said that the meeting will focus on the relationship between “that part of the international community that is based on multilateralism, international law and cooperation, and the authoritarian one, which is based on conflict and claims to other countries’ territory.”

The forum, taking place on Monday and Tuesday, is being attended by the entire Slovenian state leadership as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the forum via video link.

Attending are also Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Iceland’s President Gudni Johannesson, Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó, and others.

A panel on the European prospects of the Western Balkans will be held on Tuesday, and it will be attended by US special envoy Gabriel Escobar, the international community’s High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, the EU representative for dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, Miroslav Lajčak, BiH’s Foreign Minister Bisera Turković, and the foreign affairs ministers of Montenegro and North Macedonia, among others.

This Bled Forum was launched in 2006, and this year’s edition is marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its consequences.


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