Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said on Monday his country continued to see arbitration as the solution to its border issue with Croatia, that there was no plan B and that he did not believe that a solution was possible through bilateral negotiations.
"We have no plan B. Our plan is arbitration and we expect it to bring a solution. I'm sorry that Croatia won't be in The Hague," he told reporters in Brussels.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has scheduled a new hearing for Thursday in connection with the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia.
Croatia has withdrawn from the arbitration process and will not attend the hearing, Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said in Brussels today. Croatia will seek a solution through bilateral negotiations with Slovenia in accordance with international law, he added.
"Regarding Croatia's boycott, it means nothing. We know the arbitration procedure can go on even without one party attending. There are such examples and that's nothing unusual. I'm sorry that Croatia is sticking by its position," said Erjavec.
As for Kovac's statement that he expects a solution through bilateral negotiations, in line with international law, Erjavec said he was glad about the international law aspect. "The arbitration agreement was concluded by both parties. If they honour that, we can only be happy about it."
He said he did not believe a solution was possible through a bilateral agreement, saying that no Slovenian-Croatian dispute had been solved like that, including the Ljubljanska Banka issue.
It is therefore important to let international institutions decide on outstanding issues, given that the two countries have been unable to find a solution to the land and sea border demarcation issue for 25 years, Erjavec said.
He confirmed that he would attend The Hague hearing and that he would meet with Kovac in Ljubljana on March 22.