April 18. 2024. 9:45

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Opposition party Možemo demands Croatia recognise Palestine

Croatia must recognise the Palestinian state as it would send a message that the nation and the EU support the de-escalation of the conflict, the Croatian left-green opposition party Možemo said on Friday, adding that it would include the demand in its programme for the European and national elections.

“It is time for Croatia and the EU to finally recognise Palestine as an independent state. This request will also be a part of the Možemo program for the European and national elections,” said Jelena Miloš, an MP of Možemo, on Friday.

She argued that a united EU stance on Palestine would be the best solution, but that Croatia itself could take the initiative, as other European countries have done.

Miloš also called on the opposition and the public to increase pressure on the government and EU institutions to “unambiguously declare and demand a permanent ceasefire”.

“The government and the minister of foreign affairs should clearly state that the continuation of military operations in Gaza is unacceptable and that the killing of civilians in Gaza must stop immediately,” said Miloš.

She also added that Croatia should take measures “that signal that it will not tolerate violations of international law and that there are serious consequences for that.”

“Unfortunately, neither the EU nor the Croatian government has ever asked for a permanent ceasefire. The Government of Andrej Plenković and the HDZ rejected Možemo’s request for a permanent ceasefire. They are no longer even speaking out about a temporary ceasefire, they avoid talking about Gaza,” said Miloš.

She reiterated that Možemo condemned Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October last year, but that Hamas’s massacre of civilians “cannot be a justification for collective punishment of civilians in Gaza just because Hamas is in Gaza”.

Politicians and analysts in Croatia are also divided on this issue.

Although none of them denied the Palestinians’ right to a state, some interlocutors said they believed that now was not the time to recognise Palestine and that any such move should be coordinated with other EU members.

Among EU members, only nine of them, according to available data, recognise Palestine – Sweden, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, as well as Malta and Cyprus.

In the Western Balkans, Palestine is recognised by Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro and Albania.

Although it has on several occasions approved humanitarian aid for the inhabitants of Gaza, Croatia was one of the 14 UN members that voted against the resolution at the UN General Assembly on 27 October last year, calling for an immediate end to the new war in the Middle East that broke out on 7 October. The reason given by Zagreb was that the resolution did not explicitly condemn Hamas for the attack on Israel.

The government’s position led to a new conflict between Prime Minister Plenković and President Zoran Milanović. In fact, the head of state thought that Croatia should have kept a low profile at the UN.

(Adriano Milovan | Euractiv.hr)

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