Croatia is prepared to respond to any possible recurrence of the refugee crisis, and even though it does not expect a crisis of the scope like last year, Zagreb will be prepared to once again cooperate with neighbours, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said in Bratislava on Friday, adding that he expected that the agreement with Turkey that stopped the refugee tide would continue to be implemented.

"Croatia is prepared for a situation like last year when refugees passed through Croatia in large numbers. If that were to occur, which we don't expect, we will be prepared. We will once again cooperate with our neighbours. We have already shown that. We were efficient and humane," Kovac told reporters upon arriving to a two-day informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in the Slovak capital.

While Minister Kovac doesn't expect a recurrence of the refugee wave, Slovenia and Hungary are sending statements about a possibility of large-scale migrant arrivals.

Slovenia will resort to "extreme measures" to prevent uncontrolled arrivals of migrants in case the Balkan migration route is revived in the autumn, Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkes Znidar warned at a press conference in Ljubljana after a government meeting on Thursday. The Slovenian government held its first meeting after the summer recess to discuss the fears of reopening of the Balkan migration route if the EU-Turkey agreement on holding refugees in camps in Turkey failed.

"The situation with migrants is currently peaceful, but I fear this is only a seeming lull," Znidar said. She warned that the European Union still did not have a common migration policy and that it was not clear whether the agreement with Turkey would function.

Hungary recently announced that it was determined to build a new fence due to fear of the Turkey agreement not being fulfilled.

Pursuant to the agreement,Turkey undertakes to retain refugees in exchange for its EU accession negotiations being stepped up, for financial aid to care for refugees and in exchange that the EU would do away with visas for Turkish citizens.

"Turkey is an important partner in suppressing the migrant tide and we believe that we will continue to cooperate successfully and manage to suppress the migrant wave," Kovac said ahead of the meeting which is to discuss relations between the EU and Turkey and that talks would continue on Saturday with Turkish Minister for European Affairs, Omer Celik.

When it comes to Turkey's path toward the European Union, where some European politicians have said that the negotiations should be halted, Kovac believes that Turkey "needs to meet all the criteria, all benchmarks in order to earn liberalisation of the visa regime." "We support Turkey as a country that wishes to access the EU," Kovac said.

Serbia too has to fulfil criteria, Kovac said.

On Saturday, foreign ministers from the EU candidate countries, including Serbia, will join their EU members' counterparts in Bratislava.

"Serbia has received a response to the letter it sent to the EU and European Commission. Now it is important for Serbia to defuse tension and to stop with unnecessary diplomatic activities such as sending letters around. It needs to get down to work. Serbia is a candidate country. It wants to join the EU and criteria exist for that and negotiation chapters," he said.

Kovac said that Croatia wants Serbia to start executing its obligations, particularly with regard to Chapter 23.

Related stories

Croatian FM portrays Turkey as important partner

FM optimist over Stepinac canonisation

Slovenia braced for recurrence of refugee crisis

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.