miro kovač.jpg

The Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has said that a note by the Serbian Foreign Ministry that claims that Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac offends and disparages Serbia is just part of the election campaign in that country, reiterating that it wants good neighbourly and partner relations with Serbia.

"The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has been following with interest the election campaign in Serbia with which Croatia wants to have good neighbourly and partner relations, based on values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, including minority rights," the ministry said in a press release on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, the Serbian Foreign Ministry sent a protest note to the Croatian Ambassador in Serbia, Gordan Markotic, over Kovac's statements to the Croatian media on April 16 "which insult and disparage Serbia."

In an interview with the Jutarnji List daily on April 16, Kovac speaks about the conditions which Serbia has to meet as part of its accession negotiations with the European Union, notably full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague and the abolishment of the Law on Jurisdiction for War Crimes in the former Yugoslavia.

"It is very clear that the country where plans for the 1990s wars originated cannot be the judge and police for war crimes in all countries of the former Yugoslavia - including Croatia. Imagine that. That is absurd, a historical perversion that prevents good neighbourly cooperation," Kovac said.

The Serbian Foreign Ministry said that it "considers it inappropriate for Croatian officials to describe the enforcement of Serbian laws in public statements as 'a historical perversion' and to imply that Serbia 'is the country where plans for the 1990s wars originated'."

An early parliamentary election and by-elections in Serbia are set for April 24. 

Latest news

US strongly condemns neo-Nazi march in Zagreb

The US Embassy in Zagreb on Monday strongly condemned neo-Nazi and pro-Ustasha views expressed during a demonstration by several dozen people, organised by the non-parliamentary far-right Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights (A-HSP) in Zagreb on Sunday.

Guterres: Rights of minorities, migrants are under attack

The human rights of minorities and migrants are being attacked by populists and by governments that shirk their responsibilities to protect refugees, UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Carnival float crashes in Rio, injures 20

A large float crashed into revellers at Rio de Janeiro's Carnival celebrations, injuring 20 people, eight of them so seriously that they had to be taken to hospital, the news portal O Globo reported on Monday.

Al-Qaeda's deputy leader killed in Syria, monitor group says

Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, who goes by the name of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, has been killed in a drone strike in northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said Monday.

Taiwan rights activists urge 'truth and justive' over 1947 massacre

Over 300 members of human rights and civil organizations urged the Taiwan government on Monday to finally deliver "truth and justice" for the victims of the February 28 massacre of 1947 and the following four decades of martial rule. 

Video purportedly shows beheading of German hostage in Philippines

A video shot by Islamist militants purportedly shows the beheading of a German hostage held for three months in the southern Philippines.

Seven killed in attack on prison bus in Sri Lanka

Seven people were killed Monday when unidentified gunmen disguised as police officers opened fire on a convoy transporting prisoners to a court south of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said.

South Korea's acting president refuses to extend Park investigation

Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo Ahn refused to extend a special prosecutor's investigation into a scandal involving impeached President Park Geun Hye on Monday.

PricewaterhouseCoopers 'investigating' Oscar envelope mixup

Representatives at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm responsible for carrying the winning ballots to the Academy Awards, "deeply regret" the confusion that ensued when Warren Beatty read out "La La Land" instead of "Moonlight" for Best Picture.

Croatia's development bank giving favourable loans for tourism

The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) is continuing the implementation of programmes offering favourable loans to the tourism sector in 2017, with the continued reduction of interest rate by one percentage point and lower fees for loan applications, HBOR has stated.

New Zealand PM: We need migrants as 'locals can't pass drug tests'

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said Monday his country has to rely on immigrant workers because many locals can't pass workplace drug tests.

Father of dead Navy SEAL says he didn't want to meet with Trump

The father of a Navy SEAL killed in late January during a raid in Yemen chose not to meet US President Donald Trump when the soldier's casket arrived back in the United States, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.