18:31 / 28.09.2021.

Author: Domagoj Ferenčić

Grlić Radman: Serbia has to resolve open issues with Croatia before joining the EU

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman

Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman

Foto: Luka Stanzl / PIXSELL

The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister, accompanied by Regional Development and European Union Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak, met with his Hungarian counterpart in Nagykanizsa on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after their meeting, the Hungarian Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Péter Szijjártó said that Serbia is a key country in the Western Balkans and its EU membership is of strategic importance. He added that the stability of the Western Balkans is crucial for Europe and that this can primarily be achieved through integration, criticizing the slow EU enlargement process in the Western Balkans and calling it a strategic mistake by the EU.

For his part Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman agreed that Western Balkan countries, including Serbia, need to have a European perspective, but stressed that there are issues burdening bilateral relations between Zagreb and Belgrade that need to be resolved before Croatia can support Serbia's progress towards European Union membership: “Serbia's EU membership is not in question. However, there are certain issues that burden our bilateral relations. So, it's difficult to support Serbia's progress until these questions are answered. These are difficult questions that run deep, and first and foremost impact the families of the missing.”

Minister Grlić Radman noted that Croatia is still searching for 1 858 people missing from the Serbian aggression of the 1990's, and that Serbia has continually refused to provide information as to the location of the mass and shallow graves that hold their remains.

Grlić Radman also said that he would be in Montenegro on Saturday, where he and his Montenegrin counterpart would attend a commemoration marking the 30th anniversary of the opening of a Montenegrin concentration camp that brutalized more than three hundred Croatian civilians from Dubrovnik and the surrounding area. He said that Croatia wants concentration camps in Serbia marked with the same dignity and respect. The minister concluded that he also expects Serbia to improve the position of the Croatian minority in Serbia, so that it receives the same status as the Serbian minority in Croatia, which has guaranteed seats in parliament.

Source: HRT

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