PM Plenkovic with President of the Republic of Serbia Vucic

Photo /Vijesti/2018/02 veljača/12 veljače/Vučić/DSC_2452.jpg

Negotiations on the war reparations agreement should be renewed, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic told Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Zagreb on Monday, agreeing with him that the Croatian-Serbian border commission should meet by the end of March and that talks should begin on a war crimes prosecution bilateral agreement, the government said in a press release.

In line with Article 7 of the Agreement on the Normalisation of Relations of 23 August 1996, it is necessary to renew negotiations in order to sign an agreement on compensation for all the destroyed, damaged and missing property, Plenkovic said according to the press release.

At his proposal, it was agreed that work on those issues should continue by the coordinators for outstanding issues with a view to forming a task force, the press release said, adding that it was also agreed that the Croatian-Serbian border commission, which did not convene since 2011, should do so by the end of March.

As for the prosecution of war crimes, it was agreed that the relevant ministries should begin talks on the signing of a bilateral agreement on the prosecution of war crimes.

Plenkovic and Vucic talked about political and economic matters, with emphasis on the many outstanding issues between the two countries.

Plenkovic raised the issue of the war missing, the border, judicial cooperation, war reparations, protection of ethnic minorities, succession, economic cooperation, Serbia's EU accession negotiations, migration, and relations in Southeast Europe.

It is necessary to intensify cooperation regarding the war missing, which is important for advancing bilateral relations, Plenkovic said.

He underlined that the political representatives of the Serb ethnic minority in Croatia were part of the parliamentary majority and that the constitution guaranteed their number of seats in Croatia's parliament.

The government is working on improving living conditions, including the provision of electricity in villages populated by ethnic Serbs, Plenkovic told Vucic.

He said he expected the protection of all the rights which the Croat ethnic minority in Serbia had under the Croatian-Serbian agreement on the protection of ethnic minorities, primarily regarding direct political representation at all government levels.

The Croatian government helps the Croat ethnic minority in Serbia by increasing its financial aid to institutions, programmes and projects, it was said.

Plenkovic and Vucic also talked about infrastructure projects and transport connections, with emphasis on an upgrade of the Zagreb-Vinkovci-Belgrade railway, which is part of Corridor X.

They welcomed a meeting of the joint economic cooperation committee to be held in Zagreb on March 7, and agreed that the two interior ministries will continue to cooperate on migration issues.

Text: Hina