HC Deb 13 June 1995 vol 261 cc478-9W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the(a) legal and (b) other grounds on which Her Majesty's Government recognises a territory as a national state; and to what extent these criteria had been met when Her Majesty's Government recognised Croatia as a national state. [27503]

Mr. Douglas Hogg

In recognising a national state, we take into account that a country should have a clearly defined territory with a population, a Government with a prospect of retaining control and independence in its foreign relations. These criteria are always subject to interpretation in the light of circumstances on the ground. In January 1992 we and our EC partners recognised Croatia on the basis of advice from the arbitration commission that Croatia largely fulfilled the guidelines on recognition adopted in December 1991. These were that the state to be recognised should respect the United Nations charter, guarantee the rights of minorities, respect the inviolability of frontiers except by peaceful agreement, accept commitments on disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, security and regional stability and promise to settle by agreement questions of state succession and regional disputes.