PM Plenkovic travels to Israel for working visit

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will pay a working visit to Israel on Tuesday, at the invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the year when the two countries are marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations.

Plenkovic's meetings in Jerusalem will focus on advancing cooperation between Croatia and Israel.

The Croatian PM will begin his visit with a meeting with Netanyahu. The two prime ministers will sign a joint statement of purpose regulating cooperation between the Croatian and Israeli governments in disaster prevention and emergency management. The Croatian government adopted a draft statement at its session on January 19.

This year Croatia and Israel are marking the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic relations and Plenkovic's visit will be an opportunity for talks on stepping up bilateral cooperation and on modalities of political, economic and security cooperation.

Plenkovic will be accompanied by Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and Deputy Parliament Speaker Milijan Brkic who chairs the inter-parliamentary friendship group between Croatia and Israel,

During his stay in Jerusalem, Plenkovic is scheduled to meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and the head of the Israeli Opposition and president of the Hatnuah party, Tzipi Livni.

The Croatian PM will also visit Yad Vashem, Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, established in 1953.

In July 2015, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic visited Israel and on that occasion she expressed her "deepest remorse" for all Holocaust victims in Croatia killed during the Ustasha Nazi-puppet regime in WWII, underscoring that this period left a stain on Croatia's history, and adding that for the sake of its future Croatia must face its past. 

"As Croatia's president, I express my deepest remorse for all Holocaust victims in Croatia, those killed by the hand of the Nazi-collaborating Ustasha regime during World War II," Grabar-Kitarovic said after touring Yad Vashem and laying a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance. During that ceremony at Yad Vashem, Auschwitz survivor, Croatian Jew Branko Lustig, one of the producers of the film Schindler's List, presented his Academy Award to Yad Vashem's Visual Centre for safekeeping.