Croatia and Slovenia to resume Piran Bay border demarcation talks next week

ANTONIO BAT

A view of Slovenian small town Piran from the middle of the Piran Bay, a disputed border area between Slovenia and Croatia, 13 June 2010. Ljubljana and Zagreb have been in disaccord for 19 years, since the breakup of Yugoslavia over 13 square kilometres (five square miles) of largely uninhabited land and a wedge of territorial water in and around Piran Bay. In November 2009 Slovenia (a member of the EU since 2004) lifted its embargo on EU membership talks for Croatia after the two countries signed a deal allowing international mediators to resolve the Piran Bay border dispute. Slovenes narrowly approved the deal in a referendum on 06 June 2010. Slovenian voters' endorsement of a plan to resolve a border issue with Croatia is ''an important step forward'' for the conflict-ridden Balkan region, the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said 07 June 2010. The EU's executive president said he looked forward ''to a final settlement of the dispute,'' stressing this would represent ''an important signal for the region and the relations between Slovenia and Croatia.''

Croatia and Slovenia to resume Piran Bay border demarcation talks next week


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Slovenia and Croatia will relaunch negotiations on border settlement on September 27, local media reported on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, and Slovenia, Mirko Cerar, announced on Wednesday that they will be discussing the delineation of the Piran Gulf sea border.

The announcement came after a brief meeting between the two men on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

This is the first time the two Yugoslav successor states relaunch discussions on their sea border after Croatia refused to abide by the ruling of the Hague-based international court of arbitration in June 2017.

In 2009 Slovenia dropped its veto on Croatian accession to the EU on condition that Zagreb accepts international arbitration for the border demarcation. However, in 2015 Zagreb walked out of the arbitration process alleging the collusion of a judge with Ljubljana. In June this year, the court awarded a portion of the gulf to Slovenia.

In June this year, the court awarded a portion of the gulf to Slovenia. Zagreb has refused to recognize the decision as binding, triggering fury in Ljubljana. The smallest of the Alpine nations, Slovenia, has a coastline of merely 46km and no direct access to international waters, except the Bay of Piran.

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