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Slovenia, Croatia decide to turn to The Hague for border dispute settlement

Slovenia and Croatia agreed on Sunday to solve their border dispute at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, news reaching here from Ljubljana said.

“We have reached a consensus in principle to present for arbitration our disputes over the land as well as sea borders at the court,” Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa told reporters after meeting his Croatian counterpart Ivo Sanader. “We will continue to try and solve all the other unsolved issues ourselves,” Jansa said. “We think we should have some results by the end of this year.”

A framework for arbitration will be prepared by two intergovernmental commissions and approved by the parliaments of the two countries before being sent to the court, the two prime ministers said in a statement. Decisions made by The Hague would be binding on both countries. They also agreed to settle other outstanding issues, such as fishing and property, together on a case-by-case basis instead of treating them as a package. The two prime ministers met at the Slovenian lakeside resort of Bled before a two-day international conference on the European Union’s priorities in the first half of 2008 during Slovenia’s presidency of the bloc.

Slovenia and Croatia were two former Yugoslav republics. They broke away and won independence in 1991, but have since been unable to solve their bilateral problems. (