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EU moots special body to solve Slovenia, Croatia border row: report

22 January 2009, 23:27 CET

(LJUBLJANA) - The European Commission is ready to create a three-member council of elders to mediate in the border row between Slovenia and Croatia that has blocked Zagreb's accession to the EU, a private television channel reported on Thursday.

"The commission proposes a three-member council of wise (people) that would mediate to help finally draw the border between Slovenia and Croatia," POP TV reported.

It said Finnish Nobel Peace Price laureate Martti Ahtisaari and French law expert Robert Badinter would be in the council, which would only be created with the consent of both former Yugoslav states.

The report came a day after enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn visited the two countries offering the Commission's assistance in resolving the row.

At an EU-Croatia conference last month, Slovenia vetoed the opening of nine of the 35 EU policy chapters for Croatia's candidacy because of the dispute over a small slice of land and sea dating back to 1991.

Slovenia accuses Croatia of having handed biased documents to Brussels concerning the dispute between the two former Yugoslav states.

The row threatens Croatia's bid to complete membership negotiations by the end of the year to pave the way for it to become the bloc's 28th member.

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