The president's chief-of-staff, Orsat Miljenic, on Monday replied to correspondence from the prime minister's chief-of-staff, Zvonimir Frka Petesic, saying that Zoran Milanovic was prepared to accept November 20 for the National Security Council to convene after certain issues were agreed on.
Frka Petesic sent a letter to the president’s office on November 12 and Miljenic replied that the president still considers this type of correspondence between “mediators” as inappropriate, particularly when important issues for Croatia are concerned.
“Exclusively for the purpose of enabling the national security system to function, the president will participate in communication via a “mediator” which the prime minister insists on,” the reply said.
The president does not agree with two items proposed for the meeting by the prime minister. He believes that systematic violation of the Dayton Agreement to the detriment of the Croat people in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an exceptionally important issue for Croatia’s national security and that it needs to be discussed at the meeting of the National Security Council.
“The president is of the opinion that putting that issue within the framework of ‘the status of Croats in neighbouring countries’, as proposed by the prime minister, will not enable an appropriate discussion and adoption of conclusions,” Miljenic’s reply notes.
Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are a constituent people and the status of Croat national minorities in other neighbouring countries cannot be considered as being on a par with that of Bosnian Croats.
Milanovic considers that the other proposed item, Information about the National Strategy and current preparations of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, although an exceptionally important issue, is not something that needs to be discussed by the National Security Council.
He also believes that the legally defined composition of the Council enables information to be obtained and discussed on all the proposed items and that there is no need to invite other people who are not members of the National Security Council.
“That means that information about the COVID-19 pandemic can be given by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic as the head of the National Civil Protection Authority,” the letter said.
By the same token, all the relevant data necessary to discuss the functioning of the judiciary, and in particular, the fight against corruption and organised crime, can be supplied by Justice and Administration Minister Ivan Malenica.
After the issues mentioned above are resolved, the president is willing to accept November 20 as the date to convene the National Security Council, the letter to the prime minister’s office said.
If it will not be possible to hold the meeting on the said date, the president proposes that it be convened on November 23 or 24 and that it be held in the President’s Palace as usual, Miljenic’s letter to Frka Petesic said.