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Nov 20, 2009 19:10 EEST
ZAGREB (Croatia), November 20 (SeeNews) – The parliament of European Union candidate Croatia on Friday ratified an agreement with Slovenia to seek international arbitration in their long-standing border dispute that has stalled Croatia's accession negotiations with the bloc, Croatian state-run news agency Hina reported.
Croatia's EU membership talks, launched in 2005, hit a major snag last December when its neighbour and EU member Slovenia vetoed any further progress in the negotiations because of a dispute over their Adriatic Sea border in the Bay of Piran. The dispute is dating back to the collapse in 1991 of the former Yugoslav Federation, of which both Croatia and Slovenia were parts.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and her Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor signed the agreement in Stockholm on November 4.
The agreement provides for the establishment of an international arbitration tribunal that should determine the course of the border at sea and on land, Slovenia's contact with the high seas and the use of relevant maritime areas, Hina (www.hina.hr) reported earlier this month.
The European Commission said in October that Croatia has made good progress in its accession talks with the bloc and the negotiation process could be concluded in 2010 if the country meets all outstanding benchmarks in time.
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