Croatia, Slovenia hopeful for solving border dispute
Croatia and Slovenia expressed optimism they would soon resolve a decades-old border dispute.
Croatia and Slovenia expressed optimism on Saturday they would soon resolve a decades-old border dispute that has held up Croatia's talks to join the European Union.
The EU's Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said he expected the two countries to come to an agreement "this autumn".
Slovenia has blocked Croatia's entry talks since last December because of the dispute, calling into question Croatia's bid to join the 27-country bloc in 2010 or 2011.
The EU called off a round of accession talks in June after it tried without success for six months to mediate in the row.
Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar told reporters talks with Croatia had gained new momentum after the countries' prime ministers met in July and he hoped Croatia's accession talks would be concluded by mid-spring.
"We are talking quite intensively lately," he said on the sidelines of an EU foreign ministers' meeting. "We are coming close."
Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said: "I believe Croatia and Slovenia will very soon find a win-win situation."
The row dates back to the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenia wants direct access to international waters in the northern Adriatic which would force Croatia to cede a portion of the sea which it considers its own.
Reuters Last Mod: 05 Eylül 2009, 18:12