Leaders of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia meet to strengthen ties

13:52, April 02, 2011      

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(R to L) Serbian President Boris Tadic, Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor shake hands during their trilateral meeting in Smederevo, Serbia on April 1, 2011. (Xinhua/Vladimir Gogic)

The leaders of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia agreed on Friday to resolve outstanding issues among them and to strengthen economic cooperation, in particular in the battle against organized crime.

Meeting in the formal royal summer palace overlooking the Danube in Smederevo, an hour's drive east of the Serbian capital of Belgrade, Prime Minister Borut Pahor of Slovenia and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor of Croatia attended the meeting hosted by Serbian President Boris Tadic. This meeting is part of a series initiated by the three leaders of the former Yugoslav republics to enhance regional cooperation.

"Our relations are growing again," said Tadic at a news conference following the meeting. "We are solving problems inherited from the years of breakup of Yugoslavia. Step by step we are becoming an example for other regions."

Both Tadic and Kosor stated their willingness to address outstanding issues precipitated by the secession of Yugoslav republics during the 1990s. They said they would sponsor a donor' s conference in September to address issues faced by refugees.

The two leaders said they remained committed to the prosecution of suspected war criminals.

"One thing is unambiguous: Those who committed war crimes should be held accountable," said Tadic.

As an example of their economic cooperation, Kosor stressed the joint venture for rail transport "Cargo 10," established by the national railway companies of Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia to speed up international rail cargo."Certainly, we have shown once again our readiness to cooperate in the areas where we see our interest," said Kosor, adding that the three countries were complementary and could seek international markets together that they could not individually.

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