Croatia: Plenković met Erdogan in Antalya, asked for support to reforms in BiH

Croatia: Plenković met Erdogan in Antalya, asked for support to reforms in BiH

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, requesting Turkey’s support for efforts to ensure respect for the equality of all three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for an election legislation reform in the country.

Plenković met Erdogan on the sidelines of the summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP). Turkey assumed the SEECP chairmanship on 1 July 2020.

“One of the topics was Bosnia and Herzegovina. I underscored that it is very important for Croatia that all three constituent peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina are equal, notably the Croats who are the least numerous,” the Croatian premier said after meeting with the Turkish head of state.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Croats and the government in Zagreb claim that the Croats are currently not represented on the country’s collective presidency and in other institutions because the current member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, Željko Komšić, who sits as the Croat representative, is only the nominal representative because he was elected thanks to votes from the Bosniak electorate.

“For us, it is also important that consensus is reached on the election legislation reform during the process of negotiations between political parties and institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in this regard, I asked for Turkey’s support,” said Plenković.

“Of course, in the political sense, Turkey has closer relations with the Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina and finally with the political leadership of the SDA party. Therefore it is essential that we, Turkey and Croatia, in dialogue with friendly institutions and political parties that are close to us, seek solutions that will ensure that all the peoples and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina feel satisfied,” Plenković said.

Plenković described the Croatian-Turkish bilateral relations as very good and friendly. According to Plenković, there are many Turkish companies doing business in Croatia, and Ankara would like to intensify the business cooperation. “Croatia is open and we think that will be very much to our benefit,”  he added.

Plenković informed Erdogan that Zagreb appreciated Turkey’s care for a huge number of refugees and efforts to prevent the reactivation of the western Balkan migrant route. The Croatian PM believes that the agreement between the EU and Ankara on care for migrants will be honoured.