Croatia’s new PM to make first trip abroad to Ljubljana Friday

Zagreb, 28.01.2016 - Sjednica Vlade Republike Hrvatske. Prva je to sjednica Vlade premijera Tihomira Oreškoviæa. Na slici prvi potpredsjednik Tomislav Karamarko, premijer Tihomir Oreškoviæ i potpredsjednik Božo Petrov. foto HINA/ Denis CERIÆ /dc

Croatian and Slovenian Prime Ministers Tihomir Oreskovic and Miro Cerar are scheduled to meet in Ljubljana on Friday and talk about the two countries’ relations and the current migration crisis, the Croatian government said in a statement on Thursday.

This will be their first meeting and the first trip abroad of the newly-appointment Croatian prime minister.

The two countries’ relations have been hampered by razor wire-fence that Slovenia put up at its border with Croatia to control the migrant wave and by Croatia’s leaving the compromised border arbitration procedure.

Earlier this month, Cerar said he wanted good relations with Croatia but that this required the political will of both parties. Speaking about the arbitration scandal and Croatia’s decision to get out of the arbitration agreement which was compromised by Slovenia, Cerar reiterated Ljubljana’s position that the Slovenian government expected the arbiters to resume their work and deliver a verdict.

After Croatia had walked out of the arbitration agreement, new Croatian foreign minister Miro Kovac confirmed that Croatia no longer considered the arbitration valid and proposed a solution to Ljubljana founded on international law and good-neighbourly relations. “We wish to reach a solution with our friends in Slovenia based on international law and in the spirit of good neighbourly relations. We are confident that we will find a solution to the border issue based on international law and in the spirit of good neighbourly relations between the two peoples and states. Croatia and Slovenia are members of the EU and NATO, many Croats spend their winter holidays in Slovenia and many Slovenians spend their summer holidays in Croatia, our economies are strongly connected.”

While presenting his cabinet in the Croatian parliament, Oreskovic said Croatia would discuss the migrant issue with partners in the region and the European Union, adding however that in doing so Croatia would protect its interests.

“Technical barriers at the border are necessary, but so is cooperation with Croatia,” Cerar said adding that the wire-fence towards Croatia would remain in place until the migrant crisis was resolved.

(Hina) its