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(E) Denmark backs Croatian membership in EU, NATO
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  02/5/2004 | Politics | Unrated
(E) Denmark backs Croatian membership in EU, NATO


Denmark backs Croatian membership in EU, NATO

05 February 2004

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller expressed Thursday his support for Croatia's membership in the European Union and NATO in the coming years, saying the country was "progressing very fast".

"It is (now) only a question of when Croatia is joining the EU and NATO. Denmark is doing what we can to help Croatia into the family as we are helping the Western Balkans with a new membership program," Moeller told reporters following talks with his Croatian counterpart Miomir Zuzul.

"It was a good discussion which has given me reason to believe that it will be possible for Croatia to catch up with all of us," Moeller said.

Croatia, a former Yugoslav republic bordering Slovenia and Hungary, hopes to start accession negotiations with the EU later this year and to join the Union by 2007. It also hopes to join NATO in 2006.

Moeller said it was important for the international community to support the Croatian bids, as there were "disturbing signs around the Balkans", an indirect reference to the rise of ultra-nationalists in former Yugoslavia.

Zuzul said meanwhile that more time was needed to stabilize the entire western Balkans.

"We do see that Croatia can play a role in the stabilization of the region," he said.

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