Slovenia ratifies Croatia's NATO accession, backs Albania

Slovenia and Croatia have been unable to settle a dispute over a stretch of border and coastline in the northern Adriatic sea.

Slovenia ratifies Croatia's NATO accession, backs Albania
Slovenia's parliament ratified Croatia's NATO accession on Monday, showing goodwill toward its larger neighbour even as an 18-year-old border row stands in the way of Croatia's bid to enter the European Union.

"Slovenia has no justified reasons for reticence ... toward Croatia's accession to NATO," Prime Minister Borut Pahor told parliament before the vote, which also gave a green light for Albania to join the Alliance. The two Balkan states will be eligible when all 26 NATO members ratify accession protocols.

Slovenia and Croatia have been unable to settle a dispute over a stretch of border and coastline in the northern Adriatic sea since they declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

The border dispute has soured relations, prompting Slovenia to block Zagreb's European Union entry talks in December by using its veto in negotiations.

Before the NATO vote, Croatian media had suggested that Slovenia's parliament might reject its bid to join as a lever in the longstanding border row.

Two Slovenian minor opposition parties said Slovenia, which joined NATO in 2004, should not ratify Croatia's accession bid because of the unresolved dispute.

Most analysts believe Croatia will fail to conclude EU accession talks as planned this year unless it is resolved quickly, or unless both countries accept international mediation, which could prompt Slovenia to lift its veto.

Reuters
Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2009, 12:53
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