MARCH 20 2013 14:40h

Slovenian foreign affairs committee endorses Croatia-EU treaty

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The Slovenian parliament's foreign affairs committee on Wednesday unanimously endorsed a draft law on the ratification of Croatia's European Union accession treaty, recommending that parliament pass it.

The motion was sent to parliament after the Slovenian and Croatian governments signed a memorandum of understanding on the issue of now-defunct Ljubljanska Banka's Zagreb branch.

In a discussion preceding today's foreign affairs committee vote, all parliamentary parties said they would vote for the ratification of Croatia's treaty, which requires a two-thirds majority in the 90-seat parliament.

Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec called today's decision "a good signal" for his future work. He held the same office in Janez Jansa's outgoing Cabinet and has retained it in the new Alenka Bratusek Cabinet.

Foreign affairs committee chair Jozef Horvat congratulated Croatia and the Croatian people on joining the EU on July 1 this year. The Croatian people deserves it and Slovenia and Croatia will be in a situation to "go together down the same path," he said.

Regarding the outstanding issues between the two countries, Horvat hopes Slovenia will get in Croatia a friendly and European neighbour. But trust will be necessary for the two states to cooperate in the EU because there is neither peace nor stability without it, he said, adding that he expected that "Croatia's policy, the current and the future one, won't betray the trust" Slovenia had shown in by supporting its eastern neighbour's EU accession.

(Hina)