Tihomir Orešković, Miro Kovač, Tomo Medved, branitelji.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Tomislav Pavlek/ tp

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and ministers in his government are talking to war veterans on Monday about Croatia's positions for the continuation of Serbia's negotiations with the European Union, including key conditions -- full cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague and the suspension of Serbia's law on regional jurisdiction for war crimes, the Croatian government said in a press release.

Oreskovic, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac and Veterans' Minister Tomo Medved are talking to representatives of veterans' associations about Croatia's positions which will be presented at the EU-Serbia intergovernmental conference in Brussels later today.

Croatia's positions are an integral part of a compromise which lead to the adoption of the Joint EU Position for Chapters 23 and 24, which enabled the continuation of Serbia's accession process.

The press release which the government released about the meeting includes Croatia's official statement following the opening of negotiation.

"Without prejudging other important aspects of the rule of law covered by those two chapters, unresolved issues that are the result of the war are critical for Croatia in the assessment of Serbia's progress in the process of association with the EU. Those issues are full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the de facto suspension of the legislation by which Serbia unilaterally spread its jurisdiction over war crimes to the neighbouring countries, including the need to revise Serbia's national strategy for processing war crimes in light of its unacceptable political and legal qualification and full implementation of the legal framework for the protection of minority rights, in accordance with the national and international obligations," the Croatian government said.

"Securing the rights of war victims and enabling them to access justice and the judiciary, without discrimination, including the right to compensation are also important indicators of an efficient judiciary and along with cooperation in resolving the issue of missing people they are important elements of permanent peace and reconciliation," the Croatian government said.

The Croatian government strongly condemned recent statements by Serbian officials, notably acting special war crimes prosecutor Milan Petrovic "which clearly show Serbia's reluctance to take the necessary steps to suspend and finally end the conflict regarding the jurisdiction over war crimes."

The Croatian government said it would closely monitor the implementation of all transitional benchmarks in Chapters 23 and 24, as well as all other benchmarks and obligations in relevant negotiating chapters during the entire negotiation process, focusing on areas that had previously been identified as issues of special concern.

"The government remains committed to the continuation of EU enlargement, based on meeting all of the required criteria," the Croatian government said.

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