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Press Release

5.01.01

GOVERNMENT SESSION: Slovenia's Relations with Croatia and Austria

As for relations with Austria, Slovenia will first tackle a cultural agreement, a document which used to describe German-speaking citizens of Slovenia with some unacceptable expressions. 'We are dealing with important issues concerning the protection of interests of the Slovene minority in Austria as well as some cultural issues in which Austria is interested,' said Rupel and added that no new minorities will be created in Slovenia. Touching on the AVNOJ decisions, Rupel announced that Slovene and Austrian historians will be invited to work together in a bid to write a kind of a white paper, a document that Slovenia could use at international meetings. For Slovenia, the AVNOJ decisions are part of history, and cannot be changed because they determined the map of the post-war Europe when they were created, said Rupel. 'The problems with Croatia have been pilling up for nearly ten years, and it is high time that they were settled,' said Ruperl and added: 'If we don't settle them on a bilateral basis, we'll have to resort to international arbitration, even if Slovenia would not want that,' he said. The issue of Slovenia's N-plant which is jointly owned with Croatia, Krsko Nuclear Plant, will be discussed with both Austrian and Croatian officials in addition to EU officials. 'No major complications are expected here, and so the issue could be settled as early as during Sweden's presidency of the EU,' said Rupel.

 

The government gave the green light to the opening of a Slovene consulate general in the Montenegrian capital of Podgorica, and backed the initiative of the Ministry of the Transport to draw an agreement on regular air traffic between Slovenia and Yugoslavia, since the Yugoslav side has not drawn yet, as was agreed at the meeting of Foreign Ministers of both countries on 9 December 2000, the day when two countries established diplomatic relations.

 


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