Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Croatia rejects changes to EU proposal for resolving dispute with Slovenia

"Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said on Monday (May 25th) that Zagreb would not accept any Slovenian changes to an EU proposal for solving the long-standing border dispute between the two countries through international arbitration.

'We shall not agree to any amendments,' he said.

The plan, tabled by EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn last month, was not an invitation for either Zagreb or Ljubljana to suggest possible changes to it, but a 'take it or leave it' offer, which Croatia chose to accept, Sanader said.

It envisions the establishment of an ad hoc five-member international arbitration tribunal, operating in line with international law, to solve the 18-year-long dispute between the two former Yugoslav republics.

But politicians in Slovenia criticised the plan, claiming their country was not explicitly recognised as a maritime nation in it and therefore 'lost its right to declare a sea belt', Croatian media reported earlier this month.

Critics also reportedly opposed a provision, under which Slovenia would have to lift its veto of Croatia's EU accession talks, once both countries consented to arbitration."


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