miro kovač.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Slavko VUKADIN/ ua

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said on Thursday that the European Commission president's letter to Serbia showed that Croatia was right when it said that complaining would get Serbia nowhere.

"Juncker's letter clearly confirms that we were right when we said that complaining, which Serbia did and is doing, would get it nowhere," Kovac said on the fringes of an informal meeting of Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) foreign ministers in Potsdam.

He was commenting on Serbia's appeal to the European Union to "protect" it from Croatia and Jean-Claude Juncker's reply, in which he urged Serbia to build good neighbourly relations.

In his response to a letter from Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, Juncker "underlined that good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation, as well as reconciliation, are fundamental principles which must be respected by all candidate countries and potential candidates, as well as by all EU Member States themselves," spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said yesterday.

Kovac said Croatia would continue to support Serbia's aspiration to join the EU, but that Serbia must do its share. "It should get to work, it should comply with its commitments and abide by principles of good neighbourly cooperation. If it wants to make progress towards the European Union, which we as a member of the European Union and a neighbour of Serbia want, it should comply with its obligations, and in that way will Serbia be able to make a move towards the European Union, not with letters and diplomatic activities that are doomed to fail. Getting to work, it seems to me, that's the message of Juncker's letter to Vucic."

Kovac did not say whether he would meet with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic in Postdam. The meeting was convened by German Foreign Minister and OSCE chairperson-in-office Frank-Walter Steinmeier and will discuss security, notably regarding the refugee crisis and terrorism, and how OSCE member states can respond to that and improve cooperation.

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