Israel and Croatia Announce Diplomatic Relations

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
August 21, 1997

This evening Israel and Croatia published a joint statement announcing their intention to establish diplomatic relations.

The two countries had been negotiating for a period of several months. The final secret talks were held over the last two days in Budapest by Foreign Ministry Director General, Eitan Bentsur, and by the head of the office of President Tudjman, Hrvoje Sarinic.

The Israeli delegation also included Deputy Director-General for Eastern Europe, Natan Meron, and Director of the Eastern Europe Department, Zvi Ravner.

During the negotiations Sarinic, who was in constant contact with President Franjo Tudjman, conveyed the Croatian president’s wish to visit Israel as soon as possible in order to personally express the Croatian nation’s apology for crimes perpetrated by some of its people during the Holocaust. He plans to visit Yad Vashem, where he will lay a wreath and honor the victims.