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Peljesac, Neum: the bridge of discord

THE MINISTER of Justice of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Josip Grubesa, called the motion of the Interior Minister, Adil Osmanovic, “malicious.”

THE MINISTER of Justice of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Josip Grubesa, called the motion of the Interior Minister, Adil Osmanovic, “malicious.” Osmanovic had urged the Balkan country’s prosecutor to initiate proceedings before the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS, based in Hamburg) to fight Croatia’s construction of the Pelješac Bridge, which will connect the Dalmatian coast to the exclave of Dubrovnik, closing off the gulf opposite Neum, which with its 20km of coastline is the only Bosnian municipality on the Adriatic Sea. In an open letter, Grubesa (representing the Croatian Democratic Union Party in Bosnia) argues that Osmanovic’s motion aimed to shift public attention away from the fact that Croatians in Bosnia received more votes than the Democratic Action Party, which he represents and which politically expresses the views of the Muslim and Bosnian component of the country.

Osmanovic, as Minister of the Interior, is a member of the Democratic Action Party. In Grubesa’s view the suit against the Bridge was a move aimed at belittling the work of the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, before the institutions of the European Union.

Osmanovic asked the Hamburg court, which is a direct emanation of the United Nations, to assess the blockage of the construction of the bridge (resumed this summer after an initial start in 2007, with the aim of completing construction by 2022) at least until a new agreement on maritime borders is reached between Bosnia and Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is guaranteed free passage to international waters.

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