“Croatia has become a true leader in the region”
Regional leaders from around Southeast Europe, European Union, USA and the Southern Mediterranean attended Croatia Summit continued on Saturday.
European perspective of Southeast Europe and state building in post conflict societies were discussed. Even though Serbia has so far stayed away from such meetings, Serbian president Tadić arrived on Saturday. This is the first time that a Serbian politician attends a regional meeting in Croatia.
Tadić made a surprise visit to Dubrovnik and the media speculated Tadić had come to meet Thaçi, for their first face-to-face contact since Kosovo became independent. In the end, they only shook hands and exchanged a few words at the closing ceremony, but diplomats took it as a small sign of progress.
– I personally invited Boris Tadić in Dubrovnik. He is Serbia’s ex-president and the leader of Democratic Party which is still part of the Government. This handshake is a good thing – said Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said that ‘Croatia has become a true leader in the region as its rapid political reform has led to early membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions.’
– Croatia has shown by its example that European and Euro-Atlantic integration is not only a worthy goal – but is also attainable – for all Western Balkan countries – said Gordon.
Seventh Croatia Summit confirms that Croatia has entered the final stage of its EU accession process.
– At this moment it is very important that bilateral issues like international borders would not stop the countries from becoming EU members. Croatia has gained unique experience, was almost ready to give up some parts, because it took too long – said Prime Minister Milanović.
Two-day Croatia Summit gathered seven prime ministers from the region and few Ministers of Foreign Affairs, UN, NATO and USA high officials.