Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministers Miro Kovac has said that the political turmoil in Croatia is normal for democracy, adding that he expected the government crisis to be resolved "along the way."
Addressing members of the diplomatic corps on the occasion of Croatian Diplomacy Day, Kovac said in Zagreb on Tuesday that since it gained its independence 25 years ago, Croatia "has risen from the ashes" and that it was on the path of the economic recovery, but that successes were overshadowed by the current government crisis.
This is known in democracy, we are not an isolated case and these issues are resolved along the way, said the minister, who is coming from the ranks of the biggest party in a coalition government -- the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) -- which is in a conflict with technocrat Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and the junior partner in the government, Bridge.
Kovac said the government's priorities were Croatia as an open country with quality living standards and a constructive partner to its neighbours with which it wants to have friendly relations.
"In four and a half months we changed our relations with the neighbours, reduced tensions, there are no more verbal duels and if any salvo is directed against Croatia, we don't get upset, we resolve it through dialogue and we prefer silent diplomacy," Kovac said.
He underscored that Southeast European countries could expect Zagreb to support them on their European path and the process of adjustment with the European standards.
He reiterated that Croatia supported Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership of the European Union and Montenegro's membership of NATO. adding that Zagreb wanted Macedonia, which is faced with the political crisis, to be rewarded for its efforts in European integration processes.
"We also want our neighbours in Serbia to make progress towards EU membership, in accordance with their own merits and European criteria," said Kovac, who had stressed on several occasions already that Zagreb was not blocking Belgrade's EU entry talks but only insisted on Serbia's meeting membership criteria.