The Slovenia Times

Croatian FM calls for bilateral resolution of open issues


"Open issues need to be closed," Grlić Radman said when asked whether there had been any progress in their resolution since the new government in Slovenia took over in March.

He noted that Croatia had withdrawn from the international arbitration process to demarcate the disputed parts of the Slovenian-Croatian border and that the EU Court of Justice had decided that the relevant lawsuit by Slovenia was inadmissible.

Grlić Radman added that the court had advised Slovenia and Croatia to seek a bilateral solution. "Both sides need to come to terms that this is reality. There is no arbitration if there is no other side," he stressed.

The Croatian foreign minister has thus called for the remaining issues that are pressing the countries to be resolved bilaterally.

It is in politicians' interest not to leave this burden on the shoulders of next generations. "These are thorns in our sides that must be shaken off," Grlić Radman said.

"Slovenians and Croats understand each other well. If people are on good terms, why politicians would not be as well?".

The minister also called for Slovenia and Croatia to together endorse the countries of Western Balkans on their way to EU and NATO integration.

According to him, the countries have many comparative advantages due to their geographical position and share many views. "There only must be good will. If there is good will, we can do a lot together."

Grlić Radman has assessed that the countries cooperate well in the fight against the novel coronavirus at all levels - from prime ministers and ministers to professionals.

With the meetings with his Slovenian counterpart Anže Logar in May and July, a platform has been created on which the countries are able to tackle concrete issues which are important for both countries, he added.

He noted that Croatia had opened up for Slovenian tourists, many of whom own properties and vessels in Croatia, and that the country was satisfied with the visit by Slovenians in the summer months.

In his talks with Logar on the sidelines of the BSF, he proposed that Slovenia put on the Covid-19 red list only individual counties in Croatia with poor epidemiological picture, and not the entire country.

As an example, he mentioned Germany, which has put only two counties in Dalmatia on the red list, and said he expected understanding from Slovenia. "If Slovenian citizens want to come, we are open."

Grlić Radman assessed the countries' cooperation in fighting illegal migration as very good, while noting that Croatia protected its borders and the EU borders in that respect and thus met the conditions to enter the Schengen Area.

He rejected the criticism levelled at the Croatian authorities in relation to treatment of migrants, and said cooperation was needed with the Western Balkan countries in preventing illegal migration.

All these countries should take responsibility for protecting their borders if they want to join the European Union, he concluded.


More from Nekategorizirano