19:34 / 21.09.2021.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Milanović attends 76th UN General Assembly in New York

President Zoran Milanović

President Zoran Milanović

Foto: World Leaders Forum Columbia University / World Leaders Forum Columbia University

The 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 76) opened on Tuesday. Ahead of the session Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, was sworn in as the General Assembly President. He then proceeded to open the 76th session.

Croatian President Zoran Milanović is in New York where he is attending the 76th General Assembly of the United Nations. Later this evening he is scheduled to deliver a speech before General Assembly. On Monday President Milanović participated in the "World Leaders" forum at Columbia University, where, among other things, he commented on Croatia and its future in the European Union: "It's probably the most complex political association of humankind in the history of humankind. It's difficult to govern. It lacks political legitimacy, because it's mostly run by the bureaucrats, non-elects. And I think that for us, for my country, the question of what becomes of the EU over the next ten years is a paramount question."

President Milanović also commented on the aspirations of Western Balkan countries to join the European Union, saying that North Macedonia and Albania are working hard to join the EU. He added that Montenegro is being held hostage with regard to its bid to join the bloc: "North Macedonia and Albania, who are NATO members, trying hard, fighting, and trying to prove their case, with ebb and flow and more or less success. Montenegro, which again happens to be in a position, or is viewed by some as geopolitical prey, and NATO, Washington and Brussels remained mostly silent on the developments of the last two weeks."

For other Western Balkan countries, Milanović said that some do not seem committed to the goal of joining the EU: "Serbia is run by the democratically elected president and his party, by the popular will of the people of Serbia, but the hard thing is that that president was one of the most prominent and loudest warmongers in the nineties. So, it's an obstacle. It's an obstacle and the country is negotiating. They have closed just a few chapters. In my view Serbia does not harbour strong, or at least the people governing that country, do not harbour strong intentions to do that."

Finally, the president elaborated on his decision to sign an order to withdraw Croatian forces from Afghanistan, noting that he never bought into the idea that democracy could flourish in that country: "We should have retreated ten years ago. And in particular after they took down Osama Bin Laden. So, it's a mission creep, we go home. And a year later, it's not that I was some kind of psychic you know, but it simply didn't bode well. It didn't bode well."

Source: HRT

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