Greece and Croatia both support the start of EU accession negotiations for Bosnia-Herzegovina

Greece and Croatia both support the start of EU accession negotiations for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis noted on Tuesday, in statements after a meeting with his Croation counterpart Gordan Grlić Radman in Zagreb.

He noted that Croatia was a friendly country and a strong ally, with whom Athens “sees eye to eye regarding the prosperity of our peoples, the stability of the broader region and the future of Europe.” He also congratulated Croatia and its government on its accession to the European Union and the Schengen area.

He said the meeting was yet another opportunity to confirm on several occasions the excellent level of bilateral relations, based on common principles and values that Greece and Croatia apply in their foreign policy.

In relation to EU Enlargement process, he noted that both countries believe that the Western Balkans’ integration into the European Union can serve as a catalyst for peace, prosperity, and stability in our region.

“Accession perspectives of all candidate states must be governed by the principles of own merits and full respect for International Law, the rule of law and the European acquis. And I am glad that both our countries share the view, as the Minister just mentioned, that the time has come for Bosnia Herzegovina to start EU accession negotiations, given also the European Commission’s favorable opinion. It is a commonplace that the European Union’s most important achievement has been lasting peace in our continent. But we should not take peace for granted,” Gerapetritis said, adding:

“We are deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine and the Middle East, in our broader region. We count two years since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And, we are in a state of humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. This dire situation may have potential spillover effects in other fragile areas. Tensions in the Red Sea could have a significant effect on global trade, supply chains, security of navigation and consumer prices. This simply cannot continue. We cannot afford to let it persist and cause further harm. Greece is doing everything in its power to mitigate the consequences of the crises, prevent an escalation in the region and the globe and find solutions to these international problems.”

“We are willing to intensify our interaction and build upon our relations,” Gerapetritis said, addressing his Croatian counterpart. “Regionalisation and synergies make us more resilient and, thus, more secure. Interconnection of vertical axes with strategic ports, railways, and transport infrastructure projects is vital and necessary. We strongly support transport corridors such as the Blue Highway, and energy projects, such as the Vertical Gas Corridor and the Green Aegean Interconnector. There is ample space for upscaling our bilateral trade volume and our interaction in investment, cutting-edge technologies, and education.

“Last but not least, we have agreed to maintain our close cooperation within multilateral organizations. A successful coordination, which has led to the mutual support of our candidacies at the UN Security Council and the Human Rights Council,” he added.