We want to create special relations with Israel and we strongly reject the perception of Croatia as a country of growing fascism, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said during a visit to Jerusalem on Monday.
Kovac delivered a lecture to members of the Israeli Council on Foreign Relations and the World Jewish Congress ahead of his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at whose invitation he had come to Israel.
"Croatia is a success story," Kovac said, giving a brief account of Croatia's transition from communism to Western democracy, the military aggression on it during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, and the country's accession to the European Union in mid-2013.
"We simply cannot accept the idea in the foreign press of growing extremism in Eastern Europe," Kovac said, "but we must be cautious and responsible." He stressed that fascism, Nazism and communism were clearly rejected in the preamble to the Croatian constitution.