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FM Tonino Picula Said That UN Resolution Requires Croatia's Full Co-operation

Foreign Minister Tonino Picula has said that the UN resolution on the separation of mandates of the UN war tribunal's prosecution would also call on all countries to fully co-operate with the Hague-based tribunal.

For Croatia this means that the issue of indicted General Ante Gotovina will again be made topical, but the minister has refuted allegations that Croatia will face threats of sanctions. Croatian weekly, 'Globus', reported in its latest issue that Great Britain has launched a serious political campaign against Croatia before the United Nations because of the non-extradition of General Gotovina, and the weekly forecasts that the campaign may result in imposing sanctions on Zagreb.

Picula told Croatian News Agency Hina and the Croatian Television on Wednesday that the main purpose of the draft resolution, which would probably be adopted by the UN Security Council on Thursday, was to separate the mandate of the tribunal's prosecution for processing crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia from those committed in Rwanda as well as to define a strategy of the tribunal's work for the period before it ends its activities in 2010.

The resolution cites conditions necessary for the completion of the work of the tribunal, including intensified efforts of the prosecution and the international community as well as full co-operation of countries in the region with the court.

The draft resolution, sponsored by London, reads that the Security Council calls on all countries, especially Serbia-Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb entity (the Republic of Srpska) to step up co-operation and fully assist the ICTY with the extradition of the most wanted fugitives, such as Bosnian Serb war-time leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, as well as retired Croatian General Gotovina and all other ICTY indictees who are still on the run.

The Croatian minister says that this section of the document indicates that "Great Britain has shown once again the consistency and continuity of its foreign policy, insisting on full and unconditional co-operation of all the countries with the Hague- based tribunal, and for Croatia it means that the unresolved case of General Gotovina will be brought up again."

"Therefore, the introduction of sanctions against Croatia is out of question, but at the same time we in Croatia must be aware that co-operation with the tribunal should be taken very seriously," Picula said reiterating that the solution of all problems were important for Zagreb's bids to enter the European Union and NATO.

(NewsBase 29.viii.03)

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