Slovenia Expects EU to Pressure Croatia

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Slovenian Foreign Minister talks about relations with Croatia.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec believes that the European Union should pressure Croatia, which claims that the arbitration agreement about the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia has been irretrievably compromised, in order to accept the verdict of arbitration tribunal, which Slovenia expects in the middle of this year, reports Večernji List on January 7, 2017.

Erjavec reiterated well-known positions of Slovenian authorities that the arbitration agreement was a valid document which legally obliges Croatia, announced Slovenian television. He also answered reporter’s question whether the enforcement of the judgment would take years and whether it could cause incidents.

“While I am not an expert in forecasting the future, I do count on common sense of Croatian government because the agreement is an international treaty adopted under the auspices of the international community”, said Erjavec. He added that other members of the European Union expected Croatia “to behave in a European manner and respect signed agreements”.

Erjavec believes that the EU should act in order for Croatia to change its views, just like in cases when Croatia withdrew its reservations regarding some of the chapters in the accession negotiations between Serbia and the European Union. “We know that Croatia blocked various chapters in the negotiations with Serbia, but it had to change its views which were very determined at the beginning. I expect something similar to happen when the time comes for the arbitration verdict to be implemented”, said Slovenian Foreign Minister.

“We hope that Croatian side will respect the decision of the arbitrators, regardless of its point of view so far, and Slovenian government must do everything to implement the verdict as soon as possible. You can be assured that our government has prepared and is preparing all the necessary measures to implement the arbitration decision”, continued Erjavec.

He added that this also applied to the actions of state authorities whose duty and obligation is to exercise sovereign rights in areas for which the verdict determines that they should belong to Slovenia. “Where it is determined that the enforcement of sovereignty is a responsibility of Slovenian state, all state bodies will have to exercise their authority on the territory which will be determined as Slovenian”, said Erjavec.

According to him, arbitration is the only way to resolve the dispute which has been going on for more than twenty years. The time when it could have been resolved bilaterally is now in the past, and for Slovenia it would have been best if it was resolved at the beginning of the 1990s, during the breakup of former Yugoslavia and creation of new states, concluded Erjavec.


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