ZAGREB, Nov 19 (Hina) - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic was asked on Friday to comment on Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's statement that "Belgrade understood the message from Zagreb and its decision to appoint former Hague tribunal indictee General Ante Gotovina a government adviser" and that "It is quite clear that the Serbs, above all the Serb refugees from Croatia, cannot be happy about it."
Plenkovic said that with his experience and approach to politics, General Gotovina could be exceptionally useful in the process of turning to the future.
"When you talk to Gotovina, you see a man who is oriented towards peace, cooperation, the future, stability and the analysis of a complicated surroundings in which Croatia and Europe are today. I believe that, given his wisdom and calmness, he can be a useful adviser to the defence minister," Plenkovic said.
Gotovina was appointed a special adviser to Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic at a government session on Friday.
Asked if he was surprised at the reactions from Serbia, Plenkovic said he did not see anything problematic in those reactions.
In November 2012, the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) acquitted Gotovina of all war crimes charges.
The prime minister also said that all political stakeholders were aware that the government must help the Slavonia region, eastern Croatia, with road infrastructure, social and demographic problems and economic projects, adding that his government would try to see that all parts of Croatia undergo equal regional development.
After a meeting with Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Vladimir Sisljagic and Osijek Mayor Ivan Vrkic, Plenkovic said the talks were useful. The PM told the press he was meeting with all local self-government chiefs in all parts of Croatia, regardless of which party they belong to, to see first hand what their priorities were.