Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated in Sarajevo that BiH would be a foreign policy # 1 priority for the new convocation of the Government of Croatia.
“My visit to BiH is a testament to that as it happened only eight days after the Government of Croatia is formed,” said Plenkovic at a press conference after a meeting with the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, Denis Zvizdic, which is the first Plenkovic’s meeting with BiH officials today.
Plenkovic pointed out that the Croatian institutions will provide support to BiH in maintaining political and every other stability in the country, including the progress on BiH’s path to the EU, stating that the text of the agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina on cooperation on European issues, which will be signed soon, is prepared.
“All residual issues will be reviewed at the forthcoming joint session of the Council of Ministers of BiH and the Government of Croatia,” Plenkovic announced and added that the Croatian institutions are in close contact with the institutions of BiH with the aim of improving economic cooperation, overall relations, but also the progress of BiH on the EU path.
He pointed out that the Croatian experts will assist BiH in preparing the answers to the EU Questionnaire, which will enable a positive opinion of the European Commission and the candidate status.
“We approach BiH as a partner and will assist you, but the solutions must come from Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Plenkovic, adding that the election law remains one of the key issues in BiH and that the clarification of the Stolac case that occurred on the election day and constitutionality of the Croat people are in the interest of Croatia.
Plenkovic announced that Croatia will be the main link for the countries that aspire to join the EU at a time when the enlargement process is no longer of a high-priority for the Union.
Zvizdic stated that Croatia is among the five most important trading partners and investors in BiH, and that it has always supported BiH’s EU aspirations.
“We will continue to enjoy Croatia’s unequivocal support to the BiH integration path. A joint session of the Council of Ministers of BiH and the Government of Croatia will be held by the end of the year in which a number of issues will be reviewed,” said Zvizdic.
Zvizdic expects the Croatian experts to assist BiH institutions to fill the EU Questionnaire within six months, so BiH could be granted candidate status by the end of 2017, which is the strategic interest of BiH’s foreign policy.