Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Friday that tensions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) should be defused and that any referendums which brought BiH's survival into question were unacceptable to Croatia.

"I'm confident that Serbia too will constructively act on fellow Serbs in BiH. There's no alternative to the survival of BiH. It can function only as BiH, and Croatia wants all three peoples to be equal and constituent and that BiH move towards EU membership. That's our goal," Kovac said in New York, where he attended a UN General Assembly session.

Last night he attended a dinner of the Adriatic-Ionian Charter with US State Secretary John Kerry. Asked if BiH was discussed at the dinner, Kovac said it was not but that America was aware of the situation and that Croatia would cooperate in maintaining stability in BiH.

Asked if he met with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, after Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said in his address to the UN that Serbia was facing horrible insults from its neighbours, such as that Serbia was pathetic, Kovac said they talked only briefly.

"We want normal good neighbourly relations with Serbia, which is a European Union membership candidate. There are many criteria Serbia must meet," Kovac said, adding that cooperation was the only way.

"Our proposal to our colleagues from Serbia, after they realised that nothing will come from trading shots with us, that nothing will come from verbal attacks on Croatia, that nothing will come from letters sent to various addressed in the European Union, that there's no alternative to cooperation, that we start cooperating for the benefit of both Croatia and Serbia. We want Serbia to make progress towards the EU, but the criteria are known. The first step would be that Serbia began amending its law on war crimes so that we can reach an agreement, so that Croatian courts can try crimes committed in Serbia, and Serbian (courts) those in Serbia. That would be the first step in showing that they want good neighbourly cooperation," Kovac said.

Kovac also met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Khonsari, attended a Croatia-BiH-Turkey meeting, and chaired meetings of the US-Adriatic Charter and the South-East European Cooperation Process.

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