Prime Minister Pahor at trilateral talks with Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and Serbian President Boris Tadić in the Republic of Serbia: "Joining forces for a better common future”

(Photo: Daniel Novakovič/SPA)

At the invitation of the Serbian President Boris Tadić, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today attended personal trilateral talks between the Republic of Slovenia, the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Serbia in Smederevo, Serbia. The talks were also attended by Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. Today’s meeting represents a continuation of the meeting at the level of Prime Ministers of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia, and the President of the Republic of Serbia, which was held last March in Ptuj.


In discussing economic cooperation between Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia within their joint appearance in third markets, the statesmen defined specific projects where companies from the three countries would appear together, focusing on the following priority areas: wood-processing industry, and construction, food-processing industry, targeted manufacturing, automotive industry and tourism. They also agreed on the possibility of setting up a working group to coordinate and implement joint appearance in third markets.


(Photo: Daniel Novakovič/SPA)


In his statement to the press after the meeting, Prime Minister Pahor recalled that, on his initiative, the three of them met last March in Ptuj, and since the meeting turned out useful, they decided to repeat it. Moreover, Mr Pahor said: “In this context, I would like to say something about trust and resolving of mutual outstanding issues; this is primarily a great encouragement and inspiration to resolve problems faster and in an amicable way. That trust was of vital importance during the several-month-lasting negotiations with Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor to resolve the border issue, and today, when the three of us met, I had the same feeling. At today’s trilateral talks they also agreed on a joint meeting of three ministers of the three countries to act collectively in third markets, which will be in the interest of all sides concerned. Prime Minister Pahor was also pleased to announce that a meeting of all ministers of justice will take place on 15 April in Ljubljana, which is especially encouraging in the light of their joint fight against organised crime. Prime Minister Pahor further pointed out the importance of accession of the neighbouring countries to the EU, the process being a political issue rather than the matter of compliance with the conditions: “Further to that, as a member of the EC, I’ll do my best to support Croatia’s endeavours to become a member this June, and I'll advocate that Serbia is granted status by the end of this year. Prime Minister Pahor welcomed the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština, as it gives hope of resolving the problems in good faith and in an amicable manner. At the end of his statement to the press, Prime Minister Pahor said: “Today’s meeting is also intended to prove that the past issues can be resolved to the mutual benefit, and in particular, that by joining forces we can create a better future for all of us.”


President of the Republic of Serbia Boris Tadić said that Serbia fully supported Croatia as well as other countries in their final negotiations, and that it wished to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues that burden the region. President Tadić and Prime Minister Pahor shared the view that resolving the inherited problems was of common benefit to all people. In her statement to the press, Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said that Croatia would be pleased to host the next trilateral meeting and would chose a special venue. She also said that Croatia could set an example to other neighbouring countries in the EU accession process, and took the opportunity to thank Prime Minister Pahor for his part in their mutual endeavours to resolve the problem that burdened both countries for eighteen years.


The main purpose of the meeting was to strengthen economic cooperation between the three countries and their joint appearance in third markets. The talks also touched upon EU enlargement, situation in the region, regional cooperation and the continuation of the Brdo Process.


In view of the European integration processes in the Western Balkans, Slovenia wishes to further strengthen economic cooperation with Croatia and Serbia in anticipation of their inclusion in the European Single Market. It confirms its commitment to this goal by activities within the framework of the Brdo Process, where, together with the Western Balkan countries, Slovenia strives to keep the enlargement issue high on the agenda of the EU and emphasizes the importance of regional cooperation. The presidents also exchanged their views on the situation in the region. The Slovenian side of the trilateral also highlighted the importance of resolving outstanding issues between the countries in the region to strengthen good neighbourly cooperation and mutual trust. By signing the Arbitration Agreement, Slovenia and Croatia have set an example of successful resolution of these issues.