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Croatian President's Address to the Parliament
Record of the Press Conference of the President
of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman
December 1, 1995.


The Guidelines of Croatian Foreign Policy

Croatia and European Integrations

As I have already mentioned, one of the tasks of Croatian foreign policy is integration in the Central European civilizational and economic region, i.e., orientation to the goals of European integration.

Although it could be said that we have achieved essential progress in our relations with major European countries, we cannot be satisfied with the progress attained in our endeavours to join European integrations. Although we have met all the essential requirements for admission to the Council of Europe, and for the conclusion of the Agreement on Cooperation with the European Union, and although the agreement on our integration in the PHARE Program has already been completed both in principle and in detail, final decisions on these issues are still being delayed. There are many grounds for assuming that the decision on Croatia's participation and membership is being postponed in order to retain the possibility of bringing pressure to bear on Croatia which - because of its current position and influence in this part of Europe - is not fully to the liking of certain European factors because it hinders some of their political goals.

It is not fortuitous to see, in recent times and in certain circles, the emergence of ideas about the necessity of establishing a new, Yugoslav or Balkan or Adriatic-Black Sea community of States, a Euroslavia or Union of Southeastern Europe. And all this is being explained by the alleged need for a better economic, customs and traffic links of the region with the European Union.

The roots of such ideas are to be found in the belief that the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia was unnecessary because the region could have been kept together by a comprehensive promotion of democracy and market economy. These ideas are not defective because they show the ignorance of historical circumstances and of the experience of civilizationally different peoples, but are also contrary to reality, and they are wholly unacceptable to Croatia.

Croatia is prepared to maintain normal relations on basis of equality, and to broader cooperation with all neighbouring countries, and with all States of Europe or the European Union, but it will not renounce its individuality and independence. In consideration of its historical experience, Croatia, which is, whether one likes it or not, an integral part of Central European civilization, can join only those integrative relations which guarantee its membership to this civilization and - first and foremost - its independence as a State subject. Where European integrations are concerned, we can point out that we have established successful cooperation with the countries of the European Union as well as with the NATO even if we are not formal members of these associations.

6. Other Foreign Policy Activities

Over the previous period the main lines of activity of Croatian foreign policy were focused on the promotion of Croatian interests with respect to the major international factors - the UN Security Council, the US and other Contact Group powers, and the European Union. We can establish with satisfaction that such efforts have provided purposeful results.

Because of its principled policy and assured strength of its State, Croatia has become a support and partner of the United States and the Western world in their endeavours to achieve lasting stability in the region.

The development of our comprehensively good relations with the United States is also attested by my several encounters with President Clinton, Vice-President Gore, Secretary of State Christopher and Undersecretary Holbrooke. and by the many meetings of Ministers Granic and Susak, and other Croatian civilian and military officials, with their American counterparts.
Through such an activity, and through cooperation with the United States and, among European States, particularly with Germany, Croatia meets the requirements for admission to the Partnership for Peace Program and for inclusion in the overall Western integration and security system.

Our relations with France have also improved substantially over the past year. This was particularly manifest during my visit to President Chirac, on which occasion further progress was made in political and economic cooperation between Croatian and France.

Of particular importance for the international image of Croatia was participation in all major international meetings: the Summit Meeting on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UN; the Copenhagen World Summit on Social Development; the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of victory over fascism and the end of the Second World War in Paris, London and Moscow; the Nonaligned Country Summit; the meetings of the Central European Initiative, of the countries of the Danube basin, and of the Alpe-Adria Community.

All these numerous meetings and encounters with many statesmen from all the world provided a good opportunity for establishing the image of Croatia as a Central European, Mediterranean and Danubian country, and for the explanation and promotion of the basic guidelines of Croatian foreign policy.

The State Visits to Australia and New Zealand (June 18-28, 1995) were of great importance for the development and deepening of our relations with these countries, and especially for strengthening the links between homeland and expatriate Croatia. On this occasion, let me note with particular satisfaction, I inaugurated the magnificent new building of the Croatian Embassy, the construction of which was funded by our people in Australia.

Over the past period good relations with many Asian countries have improved further. In addition to our good, friendly relations with the People's Republic of China, relations with other Asian countries, e.g., Indonesia, Malaysia and the Republic of Korea, have also progressed. In the coming period one may look forward to the establishment of fruitful economic relations with other countries of the largest continent as well.

Relations with the member States of the Conference of Islamic Countries are developing very well, especially after Croatia's contribution to the resolution of the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In view of the high potential for economic cooperation with these countries, it will be appropriate to promote good mutual relations with these countries, also within the scope of the Joint Cooperation Council established with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It should be noted that the already established friendly relations with Argentina (which I visited from November 30 to December 2, 1994) and Chile (November 27-29, 1994) continue to develop quite well. Greater attention should also be devoted to further promoting relations with other Latin American countries.

For 1996 I have received invitations for 12 State Visits, and fourteen Heads of State and Prime Ministers have been invited to visit Croatia. Obviously, for reasons of time and finance, it will not be possible to realize all these projects.

Finally, it should be pointed out that Croatia has very good relations with almost all the member countries of the United Nations, which is best confirmed by the conclusion of more than 50 treaties covering relations between States in all fields - from economic, scientific and cultural cooperation to the cancellation of visa requirements.

Overview of all the Chapters of
President Tudjman's Address

I. THE YEAR 1995 -





Press Conference of the President of the Republic of Croatia Dr. Franjo Tudjman,
December 1, 1995

Dunja Ujevic (Hrvatski Obzor weekly):
Mr. President, the Croatian public is somewhat apprehensive that this untidy composition of Bosnia might produce a situation resembling the former state of affairs - i.e., that it might be a form used to keep the three peoples in check, to try to force them into a link-up ber than that resulting from so-called normalization. That is, into a kind of Yugoslavization. The recent statement of an eminent Croatian economist on Croatian TV - whose answer to the question "who will Serbia sell its products to?" was "why, to Croatia" - followed the same line. What products could Serbia sell to Croatia?

President dr Franjo Tudjman:
Why don't you ask what Croatia could sell to Serbia? It is generally known that Croatia was industrially more developed from the very first day of its union with the South Slav brethren, from 1918 to date; therefore, those who created the union also had in mind the benefits Croatia would gain from that less developed market.

However, a certain apprehension about such Yugoslavization is justified. All those factors in European and global politics who were interested in the creation of Yugoslavia at Versailles after World War One, all those who were very much interested in preserving Yugoslavia in recent days, have not disappeared from the political, economic and diplomatic scene even when the official policy of these most important international factors changed for practical reasons. As you have seen, even after Croatia established its reputation with its order, sovereignty, its force, after it was recognized as a regional power without which no issue could be resolved, even after that we have seen ideas about a Yugoslav confederation, Balkan confederation, South European union and, the latest, originating from Italian media, about 'Euroslavia', meant to link this region to Europe in such a way. These are lasting elements of a geopolitical approach which, for certain circles in the West and in the world, needs such an agglomeration, such a grouping in the region because of relations within Europe, with Russia, with Islam etc.

Such components of European and global policy will still be present, and Croatian policy must be aware of them. However, and that is essential, Croatian state policy must not permit any solutions contrary to vital Croatian interests. Croatia must remain b to withstand the imposition of any solutions against its will.

First of all, I think that the general circumstances in the former Yugoslavia and internationally are such that those who, as you say, might reject the agreement, will be forced to accept a peaceful solution in their own interest, because everyone involved in the international scene operates in his own interest and not against it. This is why I believe there will be no new 'lightnings' or 'storms', not because we would like to avoid them at any cost: if Croatia's interests so required, we would indeed resort to them. But, if we can save thousands of lives, avoid thousands and thousands being wounded and the destruction of Croatian cities, if we can contribute to the aspirations of Europe and of the democratic world focused on peace and on the establishment of a new order, then Croatia will also contribute to the achievement of this goal with its principled policy supporting peace, and readiness to normalization of relations and cooperation with its neighbours and past enemies, because no enmity is everlasting. Just look at Europe during World War Two and today. Therefore, with such a policy supporting normalization, cooperation, and friendship with other peoples and States, but also with the resolve to have its armed force capable of defending its interests, and even impose solutions in the absence of an alternative, Croatia has become not only a recognized but also a respected partner even of the major European, and global superpowers. This, I believe, is the guarantee of our capability to defend Croatian national interests with regard to all outstanding issues.