Memorial to Slovenian-Croatia independence efforts unveiled

Otočec – A memorial in honour of the period when Slovenia and Croatia were gaining independence was unveiled at Otočec on Monday with both countries’ prime ministers Janez Janša and Andrej Plenković in attendance, along with the first Slovenian Prime Minister Lojze Peterle and his then-counterpart Franjo Gregurić.

The memorial commemorates the bilateral meetings and cooperation between Slovenia and Croatia, honouring and celebrating the 30th anniversary of independence of both countries.

The former and current prime ministers of Slovenia and Croatia reminisced about the events of three decades ago and underlined the importance of cooperation and friendly relations between the two countries in their addresses at today’s ceremony.

Janša said that any outstanding issues could be resolved through dialogue, good cooperation and friendship, while Croatia’s Plenković said the two countries were the best of neighbours and friends.

Peterle said in his speech that relations between the two countries must be conducted in a spirit of friendship, while Gregurić expressed pride in the current level of relations and stressed there was no alternative to amicable cooperation.

Janša and Plenković held a meeting after the ceremony and while Janša did not speak to reporters, Plenković said the talks had focused on Croatia’s membership of the Schengen zone, illegal migrations and open bilateral issues.

He said the two countries were conducting talks quietly and on an ongoing basis, constructively and without raised voices.

According to Plenković, Janša and Interior Minister Aleš Hojs support efforts to start talks on Croatia’s membership of the Schengen zone before its presidency ends at the end of this year, whereby the process would be completed during France’s presidency.