Croatia meeting is a step forward, says Prime Minister Borut Pahor
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today held a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Dr Ivo Sanader. This was the first meeting between Prime Minister Borut Pahor and his Croatian counterpart and was mainly devoted to exchanging information on establishing direct dialogue to deal more effectively with the unresolved issues between the two countries. The two Prime Ministers were accompanied by their respective delegations, including the Slovenian and Croatian foreign ministers.
With regard to Croatia’s work towards joining the European Union, Prime Minister Borut Pahor said he would propose that the Slovenian Government and the Committee on Foreign Policy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia endorse, in principle, the proposal to solve the border dispute by mediation put forward by the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn. Mr Pahor pointed out that mediation was a step in the right direction to resolving the border issue and reiterated that, should no progress be made in settling this issue, Slovenia would not withdraw from its reservations concerning the opening and closing of the EU accession chapters in which Croatia has submitted accession documents prejudging the border between the two countries. Prime Minister Borut Pahor also stated that solving the border issue should make it possible for Croatia’s bid for EU membership to be adopted by the National Assembly with the necessary two-thirds majority.
With regard to Croatia joining NATO, Mr Pahor said that Slovenia had taken all the decisions necessary, pointing out, however, that Slovenia’s legal order and legislation enabling the collecting of signatures to hold a referendum should be respected.
The two Prime Ministers assessed today’s meeting as constructive, agreeing that they will improve the dynamics of contacts and meetings between the two countries: where necessary, meetings will be held between Mr Pahor and Dr Sanader, and, most importantly, more frequent contact will be established between foreign ministers and other representatives of the two countries. The next meeting between the two Prime Ministers is to be held in Croatia.