Željko Reiner u posjetu BiH, Mladen Bosić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ FENA/ Emir Burlović/ ds

Croatian Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner confirmed in Sarajevo on Monday that Croatia would continue fully supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina and helping it in its efforts to join the European Union as soon as possible.

"Croatia sincerely supports an integral, stable and functioning Bosnia and Herzegovina," Reiner told reporters after talks between a large Croatian parliamentary delegation he was heading and leaders of the Bosnian parliament's lower and upper houses.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the first country Reiner is visiting in his capacity as Parliament Speaker. Recalling that fact, Reiner said that that was proof of how important Bosnia and Herzegovina was to Croatia, as a partner and neighbour.

He said that the talks with Bosnian parliamentary officials focused on a number of topics, describing the overall cooperation between the two countries as very good.

"There are, of course, outstanding issues but we agreed that with good will, the two sides can arrive at mutually satisfactory solutions," he said.

Commenting on the economic cooperation between the two countries, Reiner said that in 2015 it stagnated slightly, adding that there was no real reason for that.

The Croatian parliament speaker called for stepping up bilateral economic cooperation and mutual investments, noting that more than 200 Croatian companies had representations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that at least 85 companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina had offices in Croatia.

Reiner said that the two countries should also step up cooperation in major infrastructure and energy projects.

He said that Croatia was very much interested in Bosnia and Herzegovina's stability and the equality of its constituent peoples because it was a guarantee of the rights of the Croat people living in that country.

Strengthening Bosnia and Herzegovina as a functioning and stable country is in line with the fulfillment of European standards, he said.

"Croatia has absolutely supported and will continue supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina's European path, especially now that it has been affirmed with the submission of the application for candidate status," Reiner said, offering Bosnia and Herzegovina assistance based on the experience Croatia gained during its EU membership talks.

The Speaker of Bosnia and Herzegovina's House of Representatives, Mladen Bosic, said the Bosnian authorities, too, wanted closer relations between the two countries and the settlement of outstanding issues in the spirit of good neighbourly relations.

He also called for a closer economic cooperation, more investments and cooperation in infrastructure projects.

Croatia's assistance can be of crucial importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina's obtaining the status of an EU candidate, Bosic said.

"I believe that in six months or a year there will be much more understanding for cooperation on a number of issues. It is in the interest of all that all Western Balkan countries join the EU," said Bosic.

The Croatian parliamentary delegation was expected to continue its visit by meeting the most senior Bosnian officials in Sarajevo as well as representatives of local authorities in Mostar and Banja Luka.

Latest news

S Africa opposition sues government for not arresting Sudan president

South Africa’s main opposition party Friday filed criminal charges against several government and police officials for failing in 2015 to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

Project Slavonia one of key government goals, PM says

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Friday opened the 22nd international fair of the economy, trades and crafts and agriculture Viroexpo 2017, saying it fit into one of the government's key goals, work on Project Slavonia.

Germany says Russia plan for Reichstag replica 'speaks for itself'

A Russian plan to construct a replica of the Reichstag so that military enthusiasts can re-enact the Red Army's 1945 capture of Berlin is "surprising and speaks for itself," a German government spokeswoman said Friday.

Transport minister does not rule out higher motorway tolls

Commenting on a planned rise in tolls for motorways managed by the state-run HAC motorway operator, Maritime, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic on Friday recalled that HAC's debt totalled EUR 5.2 billion, and 1.2 billion of that amount was due this year, which HAC could not pay back from its revenues.

Proposal to give advantage to jobseekers who served in army slammed

Labour and Pension System Minister Tomislav Coric said on Friday the proposal by HVIDRA veterans association president Josip Djakic, that persons who served in the army should be given preferential treatment while seeking for jobs in the state administration and state-owned companies, was not good.

Film directors, producers pleased with meeting with presidential advisers

Representatives of the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild and the Croatian Producers Association said on Friday they were pleased with today's meeting at the president's office, where they discussed the current developments with the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) with two presidential advisers.

German foreign minister: Positive Trump comment on EU is 'good news'

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomes US President Donald Trump's recent positive comments on the European Union, calling them "good news," during a press conference Friday.

South African police disperse anti-migrant rally

South African police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse anti-immigration demonstrators and their opponents in the country’s administrative capital of Pretoria, local media reported Friday.

Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian reporters back striking Macedonian colleagues

Trade unions of journalists from Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia on Friday expressed their support to their Macedonian colleagues working for three daily newspapers owned by Media Print Makedonija (MPM) who have been on strike since mid-February over unpaid salaries and contributions and the management's failure to provide them with information about plans for the company's survival.

Hribar's statements prompt HRT Supervisory Board to demand human rights' protection

The Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) Programming Council is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, 28 February, to discuss, among other things, "the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms in HRT programmes" as requested by the national broadcaster's Supervisory Board.

Iraq launches its first airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria

Iraq launched its first airstrikes against Islamic State targets inside Syria on Friday, retaliation for recent deadly attacks by the extremist militia in Baghdad, the Iraqi army said.

SDP urges gov't to put situation in Bosnia on EU and NATO agendas

Croatia's largest opposition party has called on the government to put the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the EU and NATO agendas saying that reactions by some political groups in that country to the submission of the motion to the ICJ to review its ruling against Serbia could lead to serious political instability and threaten the functioning of the state.