Friday, 23 April 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Slams Removal of Croatian Flag From Ambassador's Residence in Belgrade

ZAGREB, 23 April, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday condemned the removal of the Croatian flag from the ambassador's official residence in Belgrade, saying that such incidents fomented an atmosphere of hate, hostility and intolerance.

"Such incidents are certainly not conducive to understanding (...) We hope and wish for the relations between Croatia and Serbia to be good because it makes sense that we should have stable relations," he told the press.

Croatian Ambassador Hido Biščević told N1 television on Thursday it was no accident that the Croatian flag was taken down from his residence and that the incident reflected "part of the atmosphere" in Serbian society, which he said continued to feed on hate speech.

Unknown persons removed the flag from the building which has video surveillance but no guards most likely on Wednesday morning, he said.

The Serbian Foreign Ministry said this was an "injudicious and isolated act," hoping that it "won't cast a shadow on efforts to set Serbia-Croatia relations on new foundations so that in future they can develop in the spirit of mutual trust and cooperation."

Grlić Radman said that because of such incidents "we can't say the relations have good prospects, we can't talk about a good future, but we must believe in a good future."

He announced that he will go to Subotica on 28 April for the laying of the cornerstone of a new Croatia House. His talks with local officials will also address an initiative, opposed by Croatian linguists, to declare the Bunjevci dialect an official language in that town in northern Serbia.

The minister reiterated that the initiative was contrary to the Croatia-Serbia agreement on the protection of national minorities.

He said that on 27 April the prime minister of the Vojvodina province, Igor Mirović, would visit Petrinja, struck by a devastating earthquake last December.

Serbia's EU path "goes also across Croatia"

The minister went on to say that Serbia's EU path "goes also across Croatia." Before Serbia joins, it is necessary to resolve the issue of the war missing, universal jurisdiction, and reparations for POWs, he said.

Serb representatives have three guaranteed seats in the Croatian parliament and Croatia wants Croats in Serbia to be represented as well, he added.

Serbia "must actively and strongly deal" with reforms, the fight against corruption, and the rule of law, he said.

Serbia was granted EU candidate status in March 2012 and began accession negotiations in January 2014.

Ambassadorial appointments

Although Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and President Zoran Milanović have not yet agreed on the appointment of new ambassadors and consuls, Grlić Radman said he did not think the process was blocked and that there was "only one Croatian diplomacy."

He dismissed the possibility of a quota or a 50:50 model (between the president's and government's proposals). He said "agreement must be reached" and that one could talk about the list of candidates the government had sent the president, but that the government was not in favour of quotas.

He said the candidates were "professional diplomats who have proved themselves on the job."

Milanović, on the other hand, wants it to be known who is behind which ambassador for responsibility's sake, saying that this has been the practice before.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman: "Women Account For 50% of Senior Officials in Croatian Foreign Ministry"

ZAGREB, 21 April, 2021 - Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Wednesday that women filled more than 50% of management positions in this Croatian ministry.

Addressing a video conference called "Women’s Contribution to Peace and Security: Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead," the Croatian foreign minister, who was the host of this digital gathering, said his country appreciated the contribution made by women to the security and stability of the society.

Croatia is taking measures to boost the representation of women on the national political scene, the minister said.

The conference was organised by the Croatian foreign and defence ministries as part of Croatia's year-long presidency of the US-Adriatic Charter (A5).

Some of the participants in the event were former Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovć, and officials of the USA, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Slovenia, Croatia, Italy Sign Statement on Protection of Adriatic

ZAGREB, 21 April, 2021 - The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy signed in Brdo Pri Kranju, Slovenia on Wednesday a joint statement on the protection of the northern Adriatic, after plenary talks on joint cooperation in that area.

Speaking to the press after the signing, Anže Logar of Slovenia said that he, Gordan Grlić Radman of Croatia and Luigi di Maio of Italy endorsed conclusions on strengthening the three countries' cooperation in the protection of the Adriatic, which he said was the basic framework for strengthening cooperation in areas of common interest.

Last year Croatia and Italy announced the proclamation of exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic, including Slovenia in consultations on the matter. Slovenia, which under international law does not have the right to do the same, assessed that as a positive move by its two neighbours.

Early this February, the Croatian parliament proclaimed an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic, giving Croatia additional rights in relation to the Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone declared in 2003 to build artificial islands and exploit the sea, wind and currents in that zone in line with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

At a meeting in Trieste on 19 December, the three ministers adopted a joint statement in which they share a vision of the sea as a bridge uniting all the peoples in this area and a source of progress for all. They were agreed that the Adriatic, as a closed sea with intensive traffic and a vulnerable eco-system, needs an integrated approach to environmental protection and sustainable development.

For more about ecology in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

 

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

EU Ministers, Including Croatian FM Gordan Grlić Radman, Exchange Views on Ukraine, Ethiopia

ZAGREB, 20 April, 2021 - The EU member-states' foreign ministers, including Croatia's Gordan Grlić Radman, on Monday expressed concern over the situation in Ethiopia, and also over the Russian activities at the Ukrainian border and in Crimea.

The developments in Ukraine and in Ethiopia were the main topics of the informal video conference of foreign affairs ministers on Monday afternoon, and the Ukrainian Minister for Foreign Affairs  Dmytro Kuleba also joined them.

"Ministers reiterated their strong support to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, including to the non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. They also welcomed increased diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity," the Council of the European Union said on its web site.

Minister Grlić Radman was quoted in a press release issued by his ministry as saying that he praised Ukraine's efforts to implement the reforms and to deepen its relations with the European bloc.

Ethiopia

EU foreign ministers discussed the situation in the Tigray region, where fighting is ongoing, full humanitarian access is still being prevented, and human rights violations continue. They were briefed by Finland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Haavisto, who travelled to the region a second time, as representative of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to assess the situation, the Council's press release reads.

"The discussion underlined the urgent need for a monitored ceasefire to improve security conditions in Tigray, and to investigate allegations of human right abuses, war crimes and gender based violence. The High Representative encouraged the deployment of joint investigations between the Ethiopian Human Right Commission and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights."

Grlić Radman pointed out the importance of the EU's constructive role in de-escalation between Sudan and Ethiopia and in defusing the tensions between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt over the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 15 April 2021

Grlić Radman: Stability Reason for Croatian BiH EU Membership Support

ZAGREB, 15 April, 2021 - Croatia wants to see Bosnia and Herzegovina as a future member of the European Union because that is the only way to ensure stability in this area, and Bosnia and Herzegovina will have all our support, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Thursday.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is our most important neighbour, a country with which we share 1,100 kilometres of border, a country made up of two entities, three equal peoples, including Croats, and it is our constitutional and moral obligation to help Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path," Grlić Radman said in Kreševo at the end of his two-day visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

He visited the Franciscan monastery and a museum co-financed by the Croatian government, which should open soon.

"We want to help all areas of life of Croats in this place, where Croats make up more than 80% of the population, so that they would stay in this area, especially young people," Grlić Radman said.

Together with HDZ BiH party leader Dragan Čović, he visited the plants owned by the Stanić family, noting that these modern production facilities prove that it is possible to live and invest there.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Croatia Donates 100 Books For New Egyptian Capital City

ZAGREB, 31 March, 2021 - Croatia has donated 100 books for the new capital of Egypt, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman, who is on a two-day visit to that country, said on Wednesday.

Croatia has donated 100 books for the new capital city, to be located somewhere between Cairo and the Red Sea, to strengthen cultural cooperation between the two countries, said Grlić Radman.

Egypt is building a new capital city to reduce pressure on the overpopulated Cairo.

The books handed over by Minister Grlić Radman were donated by the Croatian ministries of culture and media, science and education, and foreign and European affairs.

The books are mostly in Croatian, but the donation also includes books in English and French.

We hope the donation will contribute to the recognisability of our historical and cultural heritage and of our natural beauties, Grlić Radman said.

Grlić Radman and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry held talks on regional cooperation, stability in the Middle East and North Africa, migrations, and relations between Egypt and the EU.

Together they opened a business forum which was attended by more than 120 Egyptian and Croatian business people.

Grlić Radman said that as Mediterranean countries, Egypt and Croatia "share the interest in this region" and that tourism was an important industry for both countries.

"Sustainable tourism is our common goal," he said.

Earlier today, the Croatian minister held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, extending his condolences on a recent railway accident in which more than 30 people were killed and dozens were injured.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Says Croatian Companies Interested in Egyptian Market

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - Croatian companies are showing great interest in the Egyptian market which can be the gate to a market of close to one billion people, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said at the start of a two-day visit to the most populous Arab country.

A country with which Croatia has traditionally friendly relations, based on long-lasting understanding and partnership, Egypt is one of the most important economic partners to Croatia not only in Africa but in the Middle East as well, the minister said.

Grlić Radman sees possibilities for cooperation in the oil and wood-processing industries, energy, shipbuilding, defence industry and infrastructure works.

The minister started his visit to Egypt by paying tribute at the Croatian memorial cemetery in El Shatt, the place where almost 30,000 Croats, mostly from Dalmatia, the Dalmatian hinterland and islands, were evacuated to during World War II.

"856 of them died here and that is why we laid wreaths and lit candles for them today," said the minister.

He also visited the Suez Canal, an economically very important zone that attracts important investments.

The delegation accompanying Grlić Radman includes business people and economists.

A Croatian-Egyptian business forum is to be held on Wednesday, with more than 120 business people attending, and the event will be opened by Grlić Radman and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Cooperation with Egypt is important to Croatia also because of Egypt's relations with the European Union and membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Grlić Radman said.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 12 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Thanks Greece For Post-Earthquake Aid

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday thanked his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias for his country's aid to Croatia after last year's devastating earthquakes.

"I'm taking this opportunity to thank Minister Dendias for the generous and prompt humanitarian aid that Greece sent to earthquake-hit areas in Croatia," Grlić Radman said in Athens, where he arrived for an official visit a day after visiting Cyprus.

"Greece itself was recently hit by strong earthquakes and I'm conveying our support and willingness to help," he added.

Greece was struck by two tremors earlier this month, the strongest measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, which caused material damage but no fatalities.

Support for Croatia's membership bids

Grlić Radman also thanked Dendias for the Greek support for Croatia's accession to MED7, a group which comprises seven Mediterranean EU member states - Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

He also thanked Dendias for supporting Croatia's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the euro and Schengen areas.

The two ministers underlined the importance of continuing EU enlargement to Southeast Europe and of Brussels having a consistent policy so that candidates do not lose the European perspective.

Grlić Radman cited Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is having a hard time managing the migrant crisis, and underlined solidarity with Greece, which is also on the front line of that "big political, security and economic problem."

The minister said they were pleased with the increase in Croatian-Greek trade, singling out the Greek company Avax, which is building access roads to the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia.

 For more about earthquakes in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Grlic Radman: Croats Have Shown Unity Like in Wartime

ZAGREB, 10 January, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman has said that Croatia and Croatian communities abroad have demonstrated such unity after recent earthquakes as they did in the 1991-1995 Homeland War, expressing satisfaction with the solidarity of EU member states.

"This shows that we can be together when it's most difficult. In such situations we are as one, Croatian hearts beat as one. During the earthquakes Croats were together just as they were in 1991," Grlic Radman said in an interview with the Mostar-based Bosnian Croat television channel Televizija Herceg-Bosne aired on Sunday.

He said that many Croats, Croatian organisations and Croatian Catholic missions abroad had responded a day after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck central Croatia on 29 December, opening special bank accounts and sending humanitarian aid.

"That's why we owe a debt of gratitude to the Croats abroad. We rely on each other when needed, here in particular we mean the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina," Grlic Radman said.

He said that after the earthquake Croatia again became aware of the advantages of European Union membership.

"The level of solidarity is above expectations. Croatia can be pleased with how solidarity was shown because of the feeling that we are not alone," Grlic Radman said, stressing that many non-EU countries had also offered their assistance after the earthquake.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

FM Thanks Int'l Community, Expats for Swift Quake Relief

ZAGREB, 2 January, 2021- Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman on Saturday thanked the international community and Croatian emigrants for swiftly sending relief to those affected by a 6.2 earthquake in Sisak-Moslavina County, saying the government would not forget anyone affected.

Visiting the area struck on Tuesday, he told press in Lekenik the government was "pleasantly surprised" by the swift response of the international community and Croatian emigrants.

The government immediately requested the activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, and more than half the member states responded in 24 hours, ready to help, said Grlic Radman.

Austria sent containers, Greece was the first to send a plane with 19 tonnes of relief, and Bulgaria and Poland have sent relief too, he said, adding that yesterday he spoke with colleagues from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

"They wanted to know what the situation was, if more assistance was necessary. They have shown great solidarity and empathy for our tragedy."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen immediately called the prime minister and all Croatian ministers were in contact with their EU colleagues, Grlic Radman said.

He especially thanked Croatian emigrants from Australia, America and Germany for responding swiftly and starting to collect aid, saying that reminded him of how it was in the 1990s Homeland War.

Commenting on Petrinja Mayor Darinko Dumbovic's dissatisfaction with the allocation of state funds after the tremor, Grlic Radman said "one should not politicise with millions."

Dumbovic said he would return the government's HRK 30 million in aid because political affiliation was being considered, rather than people and the damage.

"The government set aside that money to show at the beginning the desire, the will for the first rehabilitation to be carried out," he said, adding that "naturally" the government would see "what else is necessary." 

Grlic Radman said the Interior Ministry had a well-established civil protection mechanism that was activated immediately. He pledged that all the relief necessary, from camp beds and lamps to containers and caravans, would continue to reach those affected by the tremor.

He underlined that the government would not leave anyone on their own, saying that all Croatian citizens must have a roof over their heads and heating.

"We are all here to help these people, to ease their pain. We can't bring back lives but we can help to reduce the pain, that people feel they are supported, that they are not alone, that they have not been abandoned, that they get a roof over their heads. In any case, we are there for them."

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