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Croatia and Romania want closer bilateral cooperation

Zagreb - Croatian-Romanian relations are very good and both countries are interested in developing closer cooperation in all areas of common interest, notably in the economy, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Jandroković and his Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi said in Zagreb on Tuesday.

"We have agreed that relations between Croatia and Romania are very good, that there are no outstanding issues and both sides are interested in closer cooperation in all areas of common interest," Jandroković told reporters after talks with Baconschi, who is on a return official visit to Croatia and who agreed with Jandroković's statement.

One of the main areas of cooperation will be cooperation within EU institutions, after Croatia joins the EU on 1 July 2013, said Jandroković.

Another important area of cooperation is cooperation in Southeast Europe, where Romania, as a NАТО and EU member, and Croatia, as a NATO member and prospective member of the EU, can together help stabilise the situation and help with their know-how and advice all the countries that are interested in EU membership, said Jandroković.

Congratulating Croatia on having completed its EU entry talks and on the forthcoming signing of its EU accession treaty, Baconschi said Croatia served as an example to all countries that were in the process of negotiating EU membership or planned to embark on it.

The two ministers agreed that bilateral trade was not adequate. Trade currently amounts to around 180 million euros, but there are possibilities for enhancing it, and one of the ways to do it would be introduction of direct flights between Zagreb and Bucharest, the two ministers said.

Jandroković said a Croatian-Romanian business forum would be organised in the near future and the joint commission for economic cooperation would meet after almost 11 years.

The two ministers said they saw potential for cooperation also in the energy sector, tourism and metallurgy. They agreed that an important area of cooperation was protection of ethnic minorities.

"A small Romanian community lives in Istria. We discussed ways of helping them preserve their identity, and Croatia is certainly interested in protecting and promoting the rights of the Croat minority living in Romania. Both countries are willing to support those minority communities," said Jandroković.

September 27, 2011
© 2011 Hina

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