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

Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac has advocated the limiting of the number of refugees which Europe can take, and explained that his country would not have any problems in the event of lifting of visas for Turkish nationals, which is currently a part of the talks between the EU and Turkey.

"Croatia prefers a prudent and viable solution for the refugee crisis, which means a comprehensive European solution. Without Turkey there is no viable solution. Unfortunately, to date, moves of individual nations have dominated," Kovac said in an interview with Handelsblatt, a leading German language business newspaper.

Kovac refuted interpretations from a journalist that it was Croatia that joined those along the Balkan route that had made unilateral moves.

"Quite the contrary. We in Croatia are satisfied and proud of successfully developing efficient cooperation along with EU member-states, Austria and Slovenia and non-member states, Serbia and Macedonia. This has contributed to the reduction of the influx of refugees," Kovac said in his answer to the journalist's comment.

The Croatian minister is sure that the closure of the Balkan route would not lead to opening a new route for west Europe-bound refugees.

As for the Turkish demand for lifting of visas for its citizens travelling to EU member-states, Kovac recalled that before Croatia was admitted to the EU, Turkish citizens travelling to Croatia were not required to have visas.

We can certainly live with the lifting of visas for Turkish citizens, he explained.

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