Defence Minister Krstičević to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday

By 15 November 2016

This will be the minister’s first visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina after media reports that he is allegedly being investigated by Bosnian authorities.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević is in Split today where he is participating in events marking the 25th anniversary of breaking the naval blockade of Split, reports Večernji List on November 15, 2016.

From there, Krstičević will tomorrow go to Bosnia and Herzegovina in an official visit. He will meet with Defence Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Marina Pendeš, who will be his host in Međugorje and who has sent him an official invitation to talk about bilateral military cooperation, training of Bosnian officers at military schools in Croatia, latest political events, and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s road towards Euro-Atlantic integration.

Minister Krstičević said that, after his first official trip abroad, when he participated in a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels, he was now going to Bosnia and Herzegovina to emphasize that Bosnia is a key foreign policy interest of Croatian government. Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have a good bilateral military cooperation, with Croatia giving absolute support to Bosnia on its European path.

In Brussels, Krstičević stressed that foreign policy priorities for Croatia's new government were Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as stronger Croatian role in the European Union and NATO.

Krstičević will travel to Bosnia in a tense atmosphere which was created by arrest of ten former members of the Croatian Army and HVO (Croatian forces during the 1990s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as by media reports that he personally has been named in alleged indictments against Croatian generals, which would mean that it would be unsafe for him to travel abroad.

Several days ago, the Minister cancelled his scheduled trip to Bosnian capital Sarajevo, which was officially explained by the fact that he needed to focus on the currently more important issue, which is the budget from the Ministry of Defence in 2017. At the time, he denied that he cancelled the trip due to fear that he might be arrested if he crosses the Bosnian border.