The Slovenia Times

Brglez discusses border arbitration with Croatian counterpart


While admitting that there were some open issues between Slovenia and Croatia, Brglez reiterated that the border arbitration agreement was an international contract that "needs to be respected and it is still valid for us."

According to the Slovenian speaker, it is of key importance for resolving the open issues between the countries that the signed agreements are respected and agreed mechanisms implemented in good will.

Reiner on the other hand noted that the Croatian parliament had confirmed Croatia's withdrawal from the border arbitration agreement, which is "history" for Zagreb. He added that Croatia wanted bilateral talks on the issue and a solution in accordance with international law.

The two speakers also touched on the situation of the Croatian minority in Slovenia and vice versa, with Brglez saying that an agreement had been made that both parliaments at the committee level would work on improving their situation.

Brglez added that the protection of the minorities would not be based on reciprocity and stressed that the Slovenian Constitution, which provides the Italian and Hungarian minorities with a special status, needed to be respected.

Reiner and Brglez stressed that the countries' relations in numerous areas were good, especially in business and culture, agreeing that there was much room for further improvement.

The speakers agreed to continue meeting regularly as the last meeting between the presidents of the Slovenian and Croatian parliaments was held in 2013. Brglez also invited Reiner to visit Ljubljana.

The Slovenian speaker also met President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, as well as Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić.

The migration crisis and bilateral relations ranked high on the agenda in the meeting with Grabar-Kitarović, who expressed the hope that the razor-wire fence on the shared border would soon be removed.

According to a press release from her office, the Croatian president also expressed concern over the situation on the Greek-Macedonian border and potential developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina unless Europe found a joint solution to the crisis.

The release also said that Grabar-Kitarović and Brglez agreed that bilateral relations were good and that all issues needed to be resolved through dialogue.

PM Orešković's office said after the meeting that bilateral relations had become more open and cordial since the new government took over in Zagreb.

The meeting with Orešković revolved around economic cooperation in the energy sector, tourism and infrastructure.

Orešković and Brglez agreed that their countries would continue to strive toward resolving open issues and strengthening bilateral ties.

Summing up his talks, Brglez said that Croatian officials pinpointed the razor-wire fence put up by Slovenia as the most burning issue.

"The circumstances need to change and trust and cooperation need to be mended to be able to consider replacing technical barriers and them removing them," Brglez told reporters at the Slovenian embassy in Zagreb.

He said the situation was unclear at the moment because it was impossible to establish how long the Balkan migration route would remain with the doors ajar. He said the wire was the result of the lost trust between the countries during the refugee crisis.

He also presented to Grabar-Kitarović Slovenia's position on a partnership of countries between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea, advocated by the Croatian president.

"Slovenia is looking at the initiative from the synergy point of view, just like with the other macroregional strategies... In this case too we'll be looking for synergies, in particular those that generate value added."

Brglez said that Orešković was mainly interested in economic cooperation and that he considered Slovenian PM Miro Cerar as a partner they could cooperate at the EU level, thus achieving more than each country could alone.

Brglez ruled out the possibility for Croats living in Slovenia to be able to get the status of an ethnic minority for the time being.

He described his visit to Croatia as testing how things stand so dialogue is established to start tackling issues. He also believes all bilateral commissions should be revived to contribute to trust building.


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