miro kovač.jpg
Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ ds

Croatia supports Montenegro's progress towards NATO and Zagreb will be among the first countries to ratify Montenegro's accession to the Alliance, visiting Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said in Podgorica on Friday.

"This is important for Montenegro as well as for its neighbours because security and stability are prerequisites for sustainable economic and social progress," Kovac said after his talks with his Montenegrin counterpart Igor Luksic.

He added that Montenegro could count on Croatia's support on its journey towards the European Union, too.

We would like to continue developing economic relations with Montenegro and resume talks on the future Adriatic-Ionian motorway, this is in the interest of both countries and their respective tourism industries, Kovac said.

Regardless of the unsolved issue of the border demarcation on the peninsula of Prevlaka, the Croatia-Montenegro relations can serve as an example of good neighbourly relations, according to him.

The fact that we haven't yet determined the border is nothing unusual, there are many countries in the world that have not yet determined their borders and coexist normally and this is also the case of Croatia and Montenegro, the Croatian minister said, adding that bilateral political consultations that would be soon held would deal with this issue.

"We will try to define the border at our bilateral talks, negotiations, and if we don't succeed, we will seek solutions at international institutions. It is most important that we have the good will and that our citizens do not suffer due to undefined borders," the Croatian minister said.

Montenegrin Foreign Minister Luksic said that the Croatian official and he had agreed that it was important to have open, constructive and friendly talks about the border demarcation issue, adding that the two sides are willing to embrace the most pragmatic solution.

Luksic expressed satisfaction with Croatia's strong support to his country on its European and Euro-Atlantic journey.

The Montenegrin minister pointed out that Kovac was paying an official visit to Montenegro in the first weeks after taking office, which Luksic also interpreted as Kovac's commitment to a policy of good neighbourly relations.

Asked by reporters about the exploration and exploitation of gas and oil in Croatia's Adriatic region and about the effects on the environment, Kovac said that the Croatian government paid attention to environment protection, adding that the exploration of gas and oil "is now put aside as possible investors have pulled out."

Later on Friday, Kovac is due to visit ethnic Croat communities in the Montenegrin coastal area.

Latest news

White House bars major news outlets from press briefing

The New York Times, CNN and Politico were among the organizations blocked from Friday's so-called gaggle, or informal briefing, according to reporters from those outlets. Representatives of the Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the meeting in a show of solidarity, according to the Times.

Report: German intelligence spied on BBC, other foreign journalists

Germany's intelligence agency monitored foreign journalists at the BBC, the New York Times and other news organizations from 1999 onwards across several countries, according to a Friday report from Der Spiegel magazine.

Classroom for Islamic religious education opened in Split

A classroom for Islamic religious education, whose equipment was financially assisted by city and county authorities, was opened in the coastal city of Split on Friday.

Ministry say no licences for export of military goods to Saudi Arabia issued in 2016

The Economy, Enterprise and Crafts Ministry on Friday issued a statement regarding media reports about export licences for military goods, stressing that in 2016 it did not issue any licences for the export of military goods to Saudi Arabia.

Croatia for preserving Bosnia's stability

Croatia on Friday supported the stability of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), calling on its authorities to adopt decisions in institutions, after a request by BiH Presidency Bosniak member Bakir Izetbegovic to review a ruling which acquitted Serbia of genocide.

Mexico is not a migrant "waiting room" for US, interior minister says

Mexico will not accept undocumented immigrants from other countries whom the United States plans to deport, Mexico's interior minister said Friday.

Right-wing populist Wilders declines first Dutch election debate

Candidates from nine Dutch parties answered questions from journalists Friday at the first national radio debate of the election campaign, but the leading candidate

Bosnian Croat reps insist on channel airing programmes in Croatian

Being one of the constituent peoples, the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are entitled to a broadcaster that will air programmes in their native language, HNS BiH official Ivan Vukoja said at a news conference in Mostar on Friday.

Same-sex couples in Slovenia can marry

A Slovenian law allowing same-sex couples to marry went into force on Friday and the first civil registrar ceremony, between two women, is to take place in Maribor on Saturday, the town's Vecer daily said.

Moody's changes Agrokor's outlook to negative

The Moody's rating agency on Friday changed its outlook for the Agrokor food retailer from stable to negative, affirming its rating of B3.

Trump says he represents America, 'not the globe'

US President Donald Trump said Friday his aim is to serve the United States and not the rest of the world, doubling down on his "America First" message in wide-ranging remarks to a conservative conference.

Croat member of Bosnia's state presidency says crisis won't escalate

The Croat member of Bosnia and Herzegovina's collective State Presidency, Dragan Covic, said on Friday that the crisis caused by the unilateral submission of a request for a review of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) genocide ruling from 2007 against Serbia would not escalate into an armed conflict.