Slovenia still for border arbitration wit Croatia, says FM

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Croatia has withdrawn from the arbitration process and will not attend the hearing, Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said in Brussels today.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.

Last update: Mon, 14/03/2016 - 22:06

More from Europe

Police suspect tear gas in London City airport "chemical incident"

Police said they suspected CS gas could have caused a "chemical incident" that led to a three-hour evacuation of ...

EU summit fails to break Belgian impasse over Canada trade deal

EU leaders ended two days of talks Friday with a failure to break a regional blockade to a landmark deal the bloc is...

Germany's economy "has many problems," Italian premier Renzi says

Germany has "many" economic problems, including a large trade surplus which violates European Union rules, the...

Tusk: EU leaders agree on need for better tools against cheap imports

EU leaders have made progress on ramping up the bloc's protection against unfairly cheap imports, European Council...

Catalonia to uphold bullfighting ban despite veto by top court

The Spanish region of Catalonia wants to uphold its ban on bullfighting despite the ban being overturned by the...