Italian president suggests EU accept all southeast European nations

13:50, July 15, 2011      

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The European Union (EU) should be open to all southeast European nations as they could help the bloc boost its clout, visiting Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said here Thursday.

"We support Croatia in becoming a new EU member," Napolitano said in a statement after meeting his Croatian counterpart Ivo Josipovic in the Croatian capital Zagreb.

He added he was glad to visit Croatia shortly after its successful accession talks with the EU last month. Croatia is expected to join the EU in mid-2013.

The entry talks' success highlighted the EU had realized the importance of new memberships, Napolitano said. "The key to solve current problems is the EU's continuing enlargement and tighter interior relations," he said.

Macedonia, Serbia and the Republic of Montenegro in southeast Europe are also applying for EU memberships.

Napolitano was on a one-day visit to Croatia, the first since he took office in May 2006.

Source: Xinhua
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