Croatian PM points out importance of Bosnia's territorial integrity, dialogue

NEWS 11.12.2021 18:23
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Source: Izvor: N1/Ivan Hrstić

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will travel to Sarajevo on Monday to bring a message of Croatia's commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina's territorial integrity and Plenkovic said on Saturday that it was also important to adhere to dialogue and try to defuse internal tensions in that country.

He told the press in Zagreb that Croatia's delegation would bring the messages of friendship, good intentions and good neighbourly relations.

One of the messages will be that all the three constituent peoples (the Bosniaks, the Croats and the Serbs) should feel well in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that all of them are appropriately represented, the Croatian PM said.

When it comes to the commitment to the protection of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and making sure that they are on an equal footing with the other two constituent peoples, I think that President (Zoran Milanović) and I fully agree on this matter and that all prudent actors on the Croatian political scene also agree with us, said Plenković

The efforts to amend Bosnia's electoral law and the latest developments in the Bosnian Serb entity will be high on the agenda of the meetings in Sarajevo and Mostar.

On Friday, the parliament in the Serb entity (RS) parliament endorsed the proposal to withdraw the entity's consent to a wide range of laws that are in force in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The assembly in Banja Luka withdrew its consent to the state-level laws governing defence and security, indirect taxation and the judiciary. It says that within the next six months the RS government should propose laws to regulate these matters at the entity level.

I want to travel to Mostar and Sarajevo to be notified first-hand about plans and intentions after the RS Assembly adopted the conclusions. We should see how we can give our contribution in those circumstances, Plenković said.

Being a rational and responsible actor that can protect its national interests by its foreign policies and can also help defuse the tensions, Croatia gives its contribution where it can and ought to give, based on its experience, the PM said.

Any case of raising tensions in our neighbourhood can reflect on the countries in the vicinity, including us, he explained.

The first stop of Plenković's official visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina will be Sarajevo where he has been invited by the chairman of Bosnia and Herzegovina's Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija.

During his stay in the Bosnian capital city, the Croatian premier will hold meetings with the speakers and deputy of both chambers of Bosnia and Herzegovina's bicameral parliament.

He is also scheduled to meet religious dignitaries: the grand mufti of Bosnia's Islamic community, Husein Kavazović, the Bosnian prelate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Hrizostom Jević, and Cardinal Vinko Puljić, the Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sarajevo.

In Mostar, he will meet the officials of the Bosnian Croat umbrella association, the Croatian National Council (HNV).

Plenković says his visit to Sarajevo is also a sign of friendship and Zagreb's support to the Dayton concept of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a single state with two entities and three constituent peoples.

EU membership, economic topics

He says he will convey support to Bosnia and Herzegovina's European Union membership aspirations.

Zagreb is willing to help Sarajevo to meet the 14 requirements for Bosnia to be given the status of an EU candidate country.

Also, the issue of illegal migrants, migrant camps near the Bosnia-Croatia border and the control of the border will be on the agenda of the talks.

Plenković will be accompanied by several ministers and state officials during his visit.

Apart from the political issues, also economic topics will be discussed, including transport connectivity, infrastructure and cross-border gas supplies networks.

Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina work on networking gas supply routes and a south route, which goes from Zagvozd and Imotski in Croatia via Posušje and Novi Travnik in Bosnia and Herzegovina with an additional direction to Mostar, is perceived as very important.

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