Newsletter subscription

News and Announcements

10/01/07

Prime Minister Sanader receives Lajcak



ZAGREB, Oct 1 (Hina) - Croatia feels that Bosnia and Herzegovina must remain an integral country with a clear European prospect and will fully support all aspirations by politicians, the three peoples and all citizens towards achieving that European prospect, Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said in Zagreb on Monday.

"We are not indifferent to what will happen in Bosnia for a number of reasons. Primarily because we are neighbours and Croats are a sovereign, constituent and equal people in Bosnia. Croatia is also a signatory to the Dayton Agreement and we want Bosnia to remain the country of the Croat people in the future too," Sanader said after talks with Miroslav Lajcak, the High Representative to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He added Croatia was against anything over which Croats could lose the status of equal people and which could make them start leaving the country.

He told the press the Croatian government fully supported Lajcak's work, saying it "is very important because it concerns Bosnia's future".

Sanader said the international community had made the right move by appointing Lajcak, describing him as an experienced diplomat who was in charge of the delicate referendum on Montenegro's independence.

"This is a man who knows this part of Europe, who knows the circumstances, history and political context," Sanader said, adding that Croatia was doing everything through direct cooperation with Sarajevo, Lajcak and Bosnian Croat political parties.

"The Croatian government supports the Police Reform Protocol offered by Miroslav Lajcak and we hope that everyone will adopt it as this is a prerequisite for signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement" as the first step on Bosnia's road to Europe, said Sanader.

Lajcak told the press he and Sanader spoke of how to jointly help Bosnia become a modern European country on the road to European integration, and what Croatia could do as a country which he said had a very positive experience and had made significant progress in that process.

Lajcak said they also talked about how important it was that all three constituent peoples - Croats, Serbs and Muslims - should feel good, about the position of the Croats and of ways of how to best exploit the fact that they are the least numerous people.

The Croat people should have the feeling that their voice is being heard and that their rights are protected, said Lajcak.

The press asked Sanader to comment on a declaration Bosnian Croat political parties reached in Kresevo and the possibility of Bosnia becoming a federation.

Sanader said the declaration contained positive elements as it spoke of multiethnic entities. "This is very important as Croats, as well as Muslims and Serbs, are present throughout Bosnia," he said, adding that it was also important that the declaration clearly spoke of Bosnia's pro-European orientation.

It is very important that we have an authentic platform for negotiations on Bosnia's future constitution, which are imperative for the country's European integration, and it is good that Croat political parties have come out with this legitimate platform for future talks, said Lajcak in response to the same question.

Asked to comment on the Bosnian Serb entity's announcement that it would open an office in Zagreb, which could be seen as an embassy, Sanader said "that certainly won't be nor can it be an embassy because the Republika Srpska government is not the government of a sovereign state nor can it be".

"This is an initiative we will consider from the aspect of international law given that our counties, for example in Brussels, are opening tourist, trade and similar offices... and then form an opinion," said Sanader.

Lajcak was also received by President Stjepan Mesic and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.