Kovac: Croatia will meet obligations concerning migrants

The results of Sunday's referendum in Hungary indicate that there are differences of opinion concerning the migrant crisis there, like elsewhere in Eastern Europe, and it is important to reach a consensus in the European Union, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said on Monday, adding that Croatia would meet all its obligations concerning migrant resettlement.

Almost all Hungarian voters who voted in Sunday's referendum said 'no' to EU migrant quotas, but the number of voters that went to the polls was far below the necessary 50% for the referendum to be valid.

Croatia has committed to taking 1,600 migrants as part of the EU's resettlement plan and it will meet its obligations, while the higher number being mentioned in Croatian media is exaggerated, Kovac said after opening the "Model European Union Zagreb 2016" (MEUZ) conference in Europe House.

Kovac commented on a statement by Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivicia Dacic in reference to Pope Francis's address to believers in Georgia. The pope said that the conversion of Orthodox believers was a big sin and Dacic interpreted that statement as the Vatican's condemnation of and distancing from Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac's actions in WWII.

"The decision on the canonisation (of Stepinac) will be made by the Holy See, that is clear. I watched the Holy Father's speech in Georgia and it seems to me the statement that Mr Dacic used was taken out of context and was, in a way, unacceptably and inappropriately interpreted," Kovac said.

Speaking about the municipal election in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kovac said that he was pleased that the Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina had achieved an excellent result and has won in more municipalities than previously.

"We are not pleased that the local election was not held in Mostar, which has not had an election for the mayor for the past eight years. We have to resolve that as that is important for Bosnia and Herzegovina's stability and the Croatian people there. I'm also concerned with the violent incident in Stolac and we are waiting for that incident to be investigated," he said.

Kovac addressed the fourth "Model European Union Zagreb" conference which is being held on October 2-7 and is a simulation of decision making processes in European institutions, with the participation of young people from more than 20 countries. It has been held in Zagreb every year since 2013.

Last update: Mon, 03/10/2016 - 12:55
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