Ministarstvo vanjskih i europskih poslova

Grlić Radman, Tajani agree on importance of stability of Southeast Europe

The stability of Southeast Europe is in the interest of Croatia and Italy, Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman and his visiting Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani said in Zagreb on Tuesday.
"Our common neighbourhood, Southeast Europe, Western Balkans, requires our continued attention and support. I wish to once again thank Minister Tajani for hosting the recent meeting of the group of friends of the Western Balkans and ministers of Western Balkan countries in Rome," Grlić Radman said at a news conference he held with Tajani after the sixth session of the Croatian-Italian Coordinating Ministerial Committee.
"We must in no way neglect the Western Balkans, a safe and stable neighbourhood is in our interest," he added.
Attending the session, along with the two countries' foreign ministers, were also Croatian Economy Minister Damir Habijan and his Italian counterpart Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, as well as representatives of the two countries' ministries of the interior, science and education, sea, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, and culture and media.
Attending was also Deputy Sabor Speaker and Italian minority MP Furio Radin.
We must not allow Russia and Asian countries to intervene in the Balkans. Our priority is stability, Tajani said at the session of the Coordinating Ministerial Committee.
Speaking of the foreign policy topics discussed, Grlić Radman singled out "the joint fight against illegal migrations which both countries are directly affected by."
Addressing the news conference, Tajani said that Rome and Zagreb have very similar views on a number of foreign policy topics, from the Middle East to Ukraine, and are very much aligned with regard to the Western Balkans.
I believe our two peoples can be considered big friends, he said.
Grlić Radman said the economic cooperation between Croatia and Italy is "at a very high level", with Italy being Croatia's No. 1 trade partner in 2022 and in the first 11 months of 2023.
Ethnic minorities represent an important component of the two countries' bilateral relations, Grlić Radman said, recalling the "historic" agreement on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zones.
Earlier in the day, Tajani, who was recently confirmed as the leader of the Forza Italia party, led for many years by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who died in 2023, was received for talks by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who congratulated him on having been elected the party's president.
Like Croatia's ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Forza Italia, too, is a member of the European People's Party (EPP).
Plenković recalled that this was Tajani's third visit to Croatia and that in November 2023 Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni visited Zagreb, describing his talks with Meloni as "very substantial".
"The very dynamic of our relations shows that we have raised our relations with the current Italian government, in terms of the intensity of the political dialogue, to a higher level," said Plenković.
Croatia and Italy are two friendly neighbours with close historical and cultural ties, he said.
The prime minister also reflected on the measures introduced at the Italian-Slovenian and Slovenian-Croatian border due to illegal migrants.
He said these measures were “laidback”, adding that he hoped they would be only temporary.
Text: Hina/MVEP

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