EU seeks Ahtisaari's help in Slovenia-Croatia row

EU has turned to Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari to help solve a border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia.

EU seeks Ahtisaari's help in Slovenia-Croatia row

The European Union has turned to Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari to help solve a border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia that is blocking Croatia's bid to join the EU.

EU enlargement chief Olli Rehn has asked Ahtisaari, the former Finnish president and veteran diplomat, to chair a "senior expert group" to tackle the issue, European Commission spokeswoman Krisztina Nagy told a daily news briefing.

Diplomats say that, unless the dispute is resolved quickly, Croatia may fail in its goal to complete EU entry talks this year and join the 27-nation bloc in 2011.

Last month, EU member Slovenia blocked Croatia's progress by imposing a veto on opening and concluding a number of negotiating areas.

Ahtisaari won the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize for decades of peace-brokering around the globe, most recently in the former Serbian province of Kosovo.

Nagy said Croatia and Slovenia first needed to agree on the terms of negotiations with Ahtisaari's group before it was created.

Reuters
Last Mod: 23 Ocak 2009, 18:57
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