Following news of the death of former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said on Friday that Croatia was grateful to Genscher because in the most difficult times he had advocated its international recognition.
"He was a federal minister of foreign affairs for 18 years, including the most difficult times for Croatia when its existence was in question. Together with Austrian Chancellor Alois Mock, he realised that Croatia had a right to self-determination and, together with the German federal government of Chancellor Helmut Kohl and the Austrian government, he advocated the recognition of Croatia and we are grateful to him for that," Kovac told the press after meeting with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in Vienna.
"He always helped us, and besides, he was a great European politician who largely changed the architecture of Germany and Europe. We, the Croats, are grateful to him for his role," Kovac said.
Kovac said that he had personally known Genscher and that he appreciated his work, adding that he would offer his personal condolences to his wife Barbara.
Commenting on Friday's statement by the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that Croatia's application to appear as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in appeal proceedings in the "Prlic and others" case should be denied, Kovac said that the government was counting on the Appeals Chamber and that he was confident that it would grant Croatia's application so that "we can prove that a joint criminal enterprise never existed."
The Prosecution said that Croatian submissions would not "assist the Chamber in its determination of the appeal" because the three most senior Croatian officials mentioned in the Croatian application -- former President Franjo Tudjman, former Defence Minister Gojko Susak, and former Croatian Army Chief-of-Staff Janko Bobetko -- were never indicted by the ICTY.