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Croatia and Slovenia carefully approach normalisation

Ljubljana, Slovenia

ZAGREB, May 22 (Hina) – There is no increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Croatia or Slovenia so the two countries are working to ensure that all areas of life are in function and that they carefully return to normal, Croatian and Slovenian foreign ministers said on Friday at a meeting at the Kastel-Dragonja border crossing.

“The relations between Croatia and Slovenia are based on long-term ties that have resulted in successful co-operation. I am pleased that we have a similar epidemiological situation in our countries, which is certainly contributing to the agreement on facilitating cross-border travel,” Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman underscored at a press conference, adding that both countries have welcomed the European Commission’s recommendations on gradually lifting cross-border travel restrictions, introduced because of the coronavirus.

He also underscored the fact that Croatia and Slovenia arranged free transit of cargo vehicles from Croatia to Slovenia and vice versa at the beginning of the pandemic, as well as facilitated cross-border travel for Croatian and Slovenian citizens through bilateral agreements, such as the one made today.

Grlic Radman added that they talked today about the situation along the border, which affects the lives of citizens living on the border on a daily basis, and concluded that it should be resolved flexibly, through partnership, because, as he said, “local matters should be dealt with on the local level.”

“I am convinced that we will cooperate even more closely in the future, that we will respond to all obstacles we might face and that we will co-operate in all areas. I hope we will be as successful as we have been so far,” said Slovenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Anze Logar, for whom this was the first official meeting with his Croatian colleague.

The two foreign ministers, however, have not yet initialed the agreement that would additionally facilitate cross-border travel. No possible future measures have been announced either. They will be presented to the public, Minister Grlic Radman said, once the government and Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic have been informed.

Answering reporters’ questions, Grlic Radman said that it was in Croatia’s interest for Slovenian citizens to cross the border as before.

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