Meeting of Croatian and Slovenian delegations was held in Šmarjejške Spas...

Today, a meeting of Croatian and Slovenian delegations concerning the announced intent of Croatia to enlarge its jurisdiction at the Adriatic, was held in Šmarjejške Spas, Slovenia.

The Croatian delegation, following previously announced possible enlargement of jurisdiction at the Adriatic, presented at the meeting of Mediterranean states in Athens in June, legal views and international law arguments for the enlargement of jurisdiction based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and notably on the part of the Convention referring to exclusive economic area. The enlargement of the Croatian jurisdiction would contribute to the establishment of sustainable management of fish resources and good protection of marine environment, which are without doubt issues of joint interest of all Adriatic countries. The Croatian side indicated the complementarity between the enlargement of jurisdiction and multilateral cooperation, and that when undertaken jointly, they lead to a more efficient protection of marine resources of the Adriatic. A written material with Croatian viewpoints was handed to the Slovenian side, and the Croatian side expressed hope that dialogue would soon continue, but at the higher political level so that issues of joint interests related to Croatian enlargement of jurisdiction may be discussed.

Slovenia was informed that following the conclusion of the Committee for Foreign Policy, the Croatian Parliament will discuss this issue in mid-October at its last session in the existing composition. Slovenia confirmed its agreement to participate at multilateral meeting of all Adriatic states on the margins of preparatory meeting for the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Policies in the Mediterranean in Venice, to be held on 23 September 2003 in Brussels. The Croatian side expressed its openness for all kinds of bilateral and multilateral consultations.

With regard to the unresolved issue of delineation of territorial sea between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia, the Croatian delegation emphasised that this is issue apart and that it is legally different from the issue of enlargement of jurisdiction, and urged that they be resolved separately and if possible, as the Croatian side has already proposed, by some international body competent for disputes between states, that will pass a decision binding for both states.

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