4th meeting of the Inter-state Diplomatic Commission...

Today, on 30 July 2003, Mr. Tonino Picula, the Croatian Foreign Minister, received Lord Paddy Ashdown, UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During their meeting, they talked about reforms of the state administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina, further implementation of the process of return of refugees and the restitution of property, as well as on possible forms of cooperation until the end of the year. Minister Picula advised Lord Ashdown that the Croatian Government allocates large funds from the state budget for the return of refugees and for the restitution of their property. He also reminded that the Government invited all refugees to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Lord Ashdown inquired about the possibilities of liberalisation of border regime at Ivanjica border crossing. Minister Picula said that the Republic of Croatia calls for the liberalisation of border regime and that it will most probably be applied in this case as well. With reference to the traffic corridor Vc, Minister Picula pointed out the importance of inviting tenders in order to select a contractor. Lord Ashdown agreed with Minister Picula and added that it would be necessary to depolitize this topic.

At the end of the talks, Minister Picula evaluated that general progress in bilateral relations between the Republic of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina has been achieved during the past three and a half years.

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