Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman (Screenshot: HRT) Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman (Screenshot: HRT)

On Thursday Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman spoke separately with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Zoran Tegeltija, as well as parliamentary leaders in Sarajevo, Bakir Izetbegović of SDA and HDZ BiH president Dragan Čović.

Grlić Radman told reporters that their talks had focused on the non-paper that Croatia had previously sent to the EU Foreign Affairs Council with the aim of accelerating Bosnia and Herzegovina's European integration. He also emphasized that Croatia's position with regard to BiH is clear and that it fully respects that country as a state of two entities and three equal and constituent peoples: "We strongly supported the need to change the election law and thus eliminate all inequalities," Grlić Radman said, adding that his hosts on the Bosnian side had agreed that the election law must be changed in order to improve co-operation within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

When asked to comment on speculation that some EU countries are encouraging the idea of a "peaceful separation" in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the minister explicitly rejected that any such idea exist within the EU. "The EU as a whole and all its states respect international law, as does Croatia, which means respecting Bosnia and Herzegovina's integrity and sovereignty," he said, adding that the EU's focus is on an affirmative approach as described in the Croatian non-paper. He added that Croatia is and will remain that country's strongest ally within EU structures.

Grlić Radman also met with the US Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric Nelson and EU Delegation Chief Johann Sattler. Both confirmed via social media that they are closely monitoring the situation regarding the much needed changes to the election law.

Minister Grlić Radman wrapped up his visit in the predominantly Croat municipality of Kreševo in central Bosnia, where he met with local officials and entrepreneurs and visited the museum of the Franciscan monastery of St. Katarina, which preserves has an extensive collection attesting to the region's long history of mining and metalworking. The monastery houses numerous chalices, monstrances, incense burners, chandeliers and candlesticks, mostly made of silver and gilded, some of which date from the XV century.

Source: HRT