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Cerar wants Plenković meeting, but only if arbitration on agenda

Cerar wants Plenković meeting, but only if arbitration on agenda
Prime Minister Miro Cerar said preparations were under way for a meeting with his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković, but he was willing to meet only if it is agreed that the implementation of the border arbitration decision be on the agenda.

"I expect that...we will discuss how to jointly implement the decision. This is why we have launched preparations for the meeting."

"When the meeting takes place, I expect an agreement. If an agreement is not reached or it becomes clear Croatia does not have a serious intention to talk about and to reach an agreement with us on implementation, the meeting would make no sense," Cerar said after a party event Saturday evening.

Cerar said Slovenia was still offering cooperation "even though I'm surprised by some of Plenkovič's radical statements, for example when he called on fishermen to provoke our side and talked about the agreement not being respected. This is not a contribution to constructive dialogue."

He also stressed that Slovenia was in the midst of intensive preparations for the implementation of the arbitral decision and wanted "Europe and the world to know who strived to reach agreement and who did not."

"If it turns out - and we'll see in a few weeks - that Croatia does not have a serious intention to reach an agreement on implementation, Slovenia will have to do what it can do alone. I expect the European Commission to react as well," he said.

Croatia's failure to act would mean the country is still "blatantly violating international law, European law and covenants from the [arbitration] agreement."

Such conduct would be "unacceptable, and I cannot imagine that our neighbour, with which we want to develop good neighbourly relations and a relationship of even greater trust, would be willing to do something like that," he said.

Slovenia has insisted the decision of the border arbitration tribunal, issued at the end of June, must be respected.

Croatia, on the other hand, claims the procedure is immaterial since it was irrevocably compromised by a scandal involving inadmissible contacts between two Slovenian officials.

Croatian officials have repeatedly said the tribunal's decision would not be honoured in lieu of the compromised procedure.

Under the terms of the arbitration agreement, the two sides have six months from the declaration of the tribunal's decision to implement the agreement./IBNA

Source: The Slovenia Times

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