A meeting of FM of the participating countries and observers of SEECP...

On 9 June 2003 in Sarajevo, a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the participating countries and observers of the Process of Cooperation in South-eastern Europe (SEECP), in which the Republic of Croatia has the observer status, was held. The delegation of the Republic of Croatia was headed by Mr. Ivan Šimonović, Deputy Foreign Minister. A special emphasis of the meeting was on the strengthening of cooperation, stability and security in South-eastern Europe. Expectations from the summit in Thessalonike to be held on 21 June were discussed.

In his speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Šimonović pointed out the most important achievements of the Republic of Croatia in regional cooperation, such as the meeting of the Regional Table and all three Working Tables of the Stability Pact held in May in Cavtat, temporary abolishment of visas for citizens of Serbia and Montenegro, and the effect of the Croatian progress on the path to European Union on the stability and the prosperity of the region.

The Croatian Deputy Foreign Minister emphasised the complex position of the states of the stabilisation and association process as to the requests of the USA to exempt American citizens from the competence of the International Criminal Tribunal. The Deputy Foreign Minister warned of the difficulties in protecting national interests and balancing between contradictory requests of the USA and the European Union and expressed hope that great forces will soon find a compromise.

In the margins of the meeting, the Deputy Foreign Minister Šimonović met Mr. Mladen Ivanić, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The SEECP ministerial meeting shall terminate by the adoption of a joint declaration which is to confirm areas for joint cooperation.

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