Political Leaders Discuss Relations with Slovenia

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Prime Minister Plenković met with leaders of parliamentary parties.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met today with representatives of parliamentary parties and asked for their support for bilateral resolution of the border dispute with Slovenia, reports Index.hr on September 14, 2017.

“The meeting aimed to present a wider context of our relations with Slovenia, addressing the issue of the border dispute as part of bilateral talks,” Plenković said on Thursday morning at the beginning of the government session. “We want to speak with the Slovenian side in the spirit of goodwill and find solutions that will be in line with a very wise, stable, reliable policy which we have led over the past few months,” the Prime Minister added.

After he met with political leaders in the afternoon, the Prime Minister gave a statement. He said that all parties had agreed that arbitration process had been compromised but that negotiations with Slovenia should continue. “It is in the national interest that, in matters of the highest importance, opposition parties also participate,” said Plenković.

“We have a few open questions with Slovenia, but it is a friendly country, they are our partners and allies. We have never had a problematic heritage with them throughout the history. Let us create a constructive atmosphere in this spirit where we will avoid raising the tensions,” said Plenković, pointing out that he agreed on border controls regime with Slovenia which meant there were no long waiting times at border crossings during the summer tourist season.

“What follows is a visit by Slovenian Prime Minister Cerar. It will be an opportunity for us to put a number of open questions on the table, to discuss them, to consider them. Croatia wants to discuss the border issue with Slovenia, and we also want to make progress on other matters, so we are working and preparing for the Cerar’s visit which, I believe, will be confirmed in two weeks when we both come to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting,” said Plenković adding that he was pleased that most parties in Croatia agreed on relations with Slovenia.

“Croatia wants, based on bilateral talks, to come up with a solution to determine the border on the sea and the land,” said Plenković. He added that one of the topics of his talks with Cerar would be fishing in the Bay of Savudrija (Piran). “We will talk about the open question of the border between Croatia and Slovenia, on land and the sea,” reiterated Plenković.

Slovenian Minister Karl Erjavec said earlier that today’s consultations were a Croatian concession because Slovenia is interested just in implementing the arbitration decision, and not new negotiations. “This was a responsible move, and not a concession,” reacted Plenković.

“What is important, today we have agreed on the approach to these negotiations. Croatia’s position is clear, the parliamentary decision from July 2015 remains in force,” said Plenković, referring to the decision for Croatia to withdraw from the arbitration proceedings. He added that it was not realistic to discuss the details of the final arrangement at this first meeting.

“We want to talk about all issues. We do not expect to close all the problems from the last 25 years, but we have a good will to discuss them,” Plenković concluded.

Translated from Index.hr.


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