Prime Minister to Meet with Party Leaders about Relations with Slovenia

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Plenković wants opposition parties to support government’s initiative to solve the border arbitration dispute with the neighbouring country.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has invited leaders of all parliamentary parties to a meeting on Thursday afternoon. The topic is relations with Slovenia and a new initiative to solve the border arbitration dispute, reports Jutarnji List on September 14, 2017.

“First of all, the Prime Minister wants to inform party leaders about what is being done and what will be done in further dialogue with Slovenia. Plenković’s desire is for a consensus of everyone in Croatia to be reached, just like when the decision was made to leave the border arbitration proceedings with Slovenia two years ago,” say sources close to the Prime Minister.

Plenković is expected to reiterate that Croatia has left the arbitration proceedings irreversibly since the process has been compromised by the Slovenian side. After all, that is the conclusion made by the Parliament two years ago, and it will not be changed. However, the Croatian side has said it wants to engage Slovenia in a dialogue to reach a solution, so there are also different proposals what should be suggested to Slovenia in order for both sides to be satisfied.

According to the media, one possibility is an initiative to not formally accept the arbitration decision but to reach a bilateral agreement with Slovenia similar to the outcome of the arbitration. In that case, one of the conditions would be for a special fishing regime to be introduced for Croatian fishers in the disputed Bay of Piran.

Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović-Burić and SDP’s Member of Parliament Joško Klisović, who was Deputy Foreign Minister in the last SDP-led government, discussed the idea on Tuesday evening, and the conclusion was that such a solution would be acceptable to Slovenia as well, which has often sent messages that it was not interested in formal issues, but just wants the arbitration decision to be implemented one way or another. According to unofficial sources, SDP, as the main opposition party, also believes that such solution might be acceptable.

Consultations between the party political leaders in Croatia will take place on the same day as a session of the Slovenian Parliamentary Committee on Defence, which will discuss the readiness of the Slovenian army to implement the arbitration decision. The initiator of the session is Žan Mahnič from the opposition party SDS, while Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar himself opposes the idea that possible activities of the Slovenian army in the implementation of the arbitration decision should be discussed by the Parliament.

Translated from Jutarnji List.


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