Croatian PM: Important to talk with reps of all peoples in Bosnia

Croatian PM: Important to talk with reps of all peoples in Bosnia

Croatian PM: Important to talk with reps of all peoples in Bosnia Izvor: Damir SENCAR / AFP

It is important to talk with the representatives of all peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday, ahead of his meeting with the leader of the HDZ BiH Dragan Covic and SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic in Government House arranged for Monday evening in Zagreb.

"We have a continued dialogue with representatives of the peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina for some time now. I think that it is important to open communication with all the peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr Izetbegovic is a very influential person, particularly as the leader of the SDA - (Bosniak Party for Democratic Action), said Plenkovic.

"With today's visit we are continuing dialogue on the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the status of Croats, certain legislative solutions, equality and here, I primarily think of the election law," Plenkovic underlined.

He added that ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Accords, the incumbent election law "undermines the spirit and letter of that agreement."

Two weeks ago Plenkovic received the Serb member of the tripartite Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Milorad Dodik, which resulted in various reactions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"That visit had a multifaceted benefit so that we can open many issues that we are ourselves are dealing with. Croatia is a significant partner to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the fact is that we will be faced with a lot of similar meetings at various levels. That will greatly assist Bosnia and Herzegovina so that things are not swept under the carpet," Covic told a press conference last week in Mostar.

Covic added that there is no reason why Dodik, as the legitimate representative of the Serb people, should not meet with anyone in the world, including senior officials in Zagreb.

Izetbegovic believes that with his experience, Plenkovic could help mend relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and between Croats and Bosniaks but warned that steps like meeting with Dodik in Zagreb do not contribute to that.

The foreign ministers of both countries - Gordan Grlic Radman and Bisera Turkovic too will attend today's meeting.

Addressing reporters in regard to a visit by US State-Secretary Mike Pompeo, Plenkovic said in Sibenik today that the key topics on the agenda of their meeting in Dubrovnik on Friday will be the '"Visa Waiver Program, and the double taxation avoidance agreement as well as relations ins Southeast Europe."

Croatia is one of four EU member states whose citizens still need a visa to visit the USA. Plenkovic underlined that that is a problem "that has been bothering us for a long time, practically three decades," but he is convinced that the criteria of less than three percent of visa applications being rejected has been met and that problem will be resolved.

There will also be talk of investments, US-EU relations and the "atmosphere in the USA ahead of the presidential election," the Croatian premier added.

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