Croatian Parliament Speaker Leko meets CoE secretary general Jagland

Strasbourg - Croatian Parliament Speaker Josip Leko held talks in Strasbourg on Friday with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland on reforms in the CoE and the situation in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"We are interested in the continuation of the reforms in the Council of Europe, notably the work of the Court of Human Rights," Leko told reporters after the talks, describing the CoE as "the oldest democratic institution in Europe." He said that while talking about the situation in Croatia, he told Jagland that "Croatia is a credible country which will protect and respect human rights and the rights of national minorities, and that there will be no problems about this either in institutions or among Croatian citizens." As for the introduction of bilingual signs in the eastern town of Vukovar, Leko said "it's possible to discuss only the pace and nothing else." Regarding the situation in Bosnia, Leko said Croatia supported the approach that a solution should be found in Bosnia, "that the three constituent peoples should find a solution for a functional Bosnia and Herzegovina in which all three peoples will be equal and in which all three peoples will answer for their positions and for an integral Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Jagland said he had asked Leko about the situation in Vukovar and that he received a convincing answer. Discussing Bosnia, they focused on the enforcement of a European Court of Human Rights ruling in the Sejdic-Finci case which should eliminate the discrimination of national minorities in election processes. Jagland said the CoE was very interested in the decision being enforced.

Leko arrived in Strasbourg to open a traditional Christmas fair at which Croatia is this year's guest of honour. Every year, the fair offers a European Union member country to present its culture and tradition. This year Croatia was invited to do so as the EU's newest member.

Author: Hina