Ivanov-Kitarovic: Bilateral issues should be resolved in parallel with EU integration
Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:52   

PRM_Kitarovik_01The Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Croatia have exceptionally good friendly relations without any open issues. Croatia is a great supporter of Macedonia on its path to the EU and NATO and will do everything for its completion as soon as possible. Open issues with other countries may not be a hinder on that path. They can and must be dealt with in parallel with the holding of the EU membership negotiations. This is the joint assessment of the Presidents of the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Croatia, Dr. Gjorge Ivanov and Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, after their meeting in Skopje.

“We welcome the recommendation of the European Commission for opening of pre-accession negotiations for membership of the Republic of Macedonia in the European Union, and the Republic of Croatia will do everything in its power for a decision to set a date for the start of the negotiations by June, said Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic at the press conference after the meeting.

She pointed out that the Republic of Croatia will continue to support the Republic of Macedonia in the Council of EU regarding the date on the start of the negotiations, as she said, both in the domains of open diplomacy and behind closed doors, by creating a coalition of states that consider that Macedonia should start negotiations, by planning joint activities, argumentation and conversation with the disagreeing countries.

The President of the Republic of Croatia believes that open bilateral issues can be resolved in parallel with European integration.

“I think that maturity and preparedness for dialogue should be demonstrated by mutual respect and respect for international law and the solution to the problem is to be found by the two countries themselves without imposing a solution”, Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic said.

PRM_Kitarovik_04The Croatian President believes that the enlargement process should continue, and that the delays create a dangerous vacuum that will be fulfilled by third parties who are not interested in the progress of the countries on the road to EU and NATO membership, something, as she said, even the Union itself knows.

President Ivanov commended the constructive attitude of the Republic of Croatia that the bilateral disputes should not be an obstacle to the Euro-Atlantic path.

“In our region, there is a positive experience of parallel movement of negotiations and finding a mutual solution for all open issues. This is the example between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, which can be applied in the case of the Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian President said.

President Ivanov stressed that at the meeting with the Croatian President Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic, opinions were exchanged about the possibilities for cooperation in other spheres of mutual interest.

The interlocutors agreed that there is untapped potential for deepening economic cooperation between the two countries and that they need to work on their promotion.

“It is our common goal the Republic of Croatia to be among the five largest trading partners of the Republic of Macedonia in the coming years through a common and concrete contribution, Ivanov said, stressing that a significant aspect in the friendly relations between the two countries is the Macedonian community in the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian community in the Republic of Macedonia.