ZAGREB, Dec 18 (Hina) – The foreign ministers of Croatia, Slovenia and Italy are expected to sign a joint statement on the Adriatic, during a trilateral meeting in Trieste on Saturday dedicated to Croatia’s and Italy’s plan to declare exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic, Slovenia’s STA agency reported on Friday.
“The wording of the statement itself has not yet been finalised, but the idea is that Slovenia also signs it,” Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman told STA, adding that the statement is “positive.”
It is assumed that the text notes that Italy, Croatia and Slovenia have the “same vision” for the Adriatic Sea as a “bridge that connects all peoples in the region,” and as a “source of progress,” Grlic Radman said and added that it seems logical that Slovenia signs the statement, even though he could not know whether Slovenia would have any reservations in regard to the wording.
The interview with Grlic Radman has still not been published but allegedly refers to overall Croatian-Slovenian relations and STA released some excerpts that are related to Saturday’s trilateral meeting to be attended by Croatia’s Grlic Radman, Italy’s Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, and Slovenia’s Minister Anze Logar.
Responding to criticism by the opposition in Slovenia’s parliament that Croatia and Italy had “obviously tricked” Slovenia by plans to declare exclusive economic zones, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said that that was the right of those countries and also the success of his government because it had previously been advised and consulted in that regard. He claimed that that certainly would not have been the case with previous governments that strained the relations with Croatia with regard to the sea border demarcation issue.
Some parties and legal counsels question Italy’s and Croatia’s economic zones in the Adriatic from the perspective of Slovenian fishermen and the right to fish in the high seas even though there are only about 50 professional fishermen in Slovenia and they do not have the necessary vessels to travel out to the high seas.
The Slovenian opposition believes that Croatia cannot declare an exclusive economic zone until it concedes to implement the arbitration ruling concerning the border dispute which seems to be falling into oblivion.
Croatia refuses to implement the ruling claiming that it was delivered in a compromised procedure and proposes that the border dispute be resolved bilaterally.