(E) Balkans pact chief says Croatia important for Balkan stability
Balkans pact chief says Croatia important for Balkan stability
08 September 2004
Croatia's efforts to join the European Union are important for Balkan stability, a senior EU official, Erhard Busek, said Wednesday.
Busek is coordinator of the Stability Pact for southeastern Europe, launched in 1999 to promote democratisation, economic reconstruction and security throughout the Balkans where a series of wars erupted in the 1990s.
"We are prepared to assist Croatia in every way possible to reach this aim (EU membership) because it is of a great importance for the whole Stability Pact and the situation in the region," Busek said after meeting Croatian Foreign Minister Miomir Zuzul.
Croatia was recently granted official EU candidate status and is to start accession talks early next year. It hopes to join the bloc in 2007, along with Bulgaria and Romania.
Busek is also expected to meet Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.