Ljubljana – Foreign Minister Anže Logar has announced that he will pay his first official visit to Croatia on Friday, with the topics of talks to include the intention by Croatia and Italy to declare exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in the Adriatic Sea.
The minister announced the visit as he attended Wednesday’s session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee, which discussed the EEZ issue last week.
Croatia and Italy intend to declare their EEZs in the Adriatic, with the Croatian zone expected to enter into force on 1 February.
Slovenia has no possibility of declaring such a zone itself in line with the decision of the arbitration tribunal for the Slovenian-Croatian border dispute.
Logar is going to Zagreb about a month after the trilateral meeting with his Croatian and Italian counterparts, Gordan Grlić Radman and Luigi Di Maio, at which a statement on joint cooperation in the protection of the Adriatic was agreed upon.
The statement has not been signed yet, but the Slovenian minister told the MPs that the “development of the events inspires optimism”.
Logar also announced that the first meeting between the three countries at the expert level would be held in Rome on 29 January. Slovenia has already received the invitation and the ministry is preparing starting points for the meeting.
At last week’s session, the minister said that the expert meeting would be followed by a meeting at the level of all three foreign ministries and lastly between the countries’ prime ministers.
The Foreign Ministry said Logar and his Croatian host Grlić Radman will visit the Sisak-Moslavina county, which was hit by a devastating earthquake in late December.
Slovenia was among the first to offer relief aid to Croatia, with the first shipment of tents, beds, heaters and generators arriving in Croatia a day after the 6.2-magnitude quake with an epicentre in Petrinja, which claimed seven lives. Many Slovenian charities and other organisations keep collecting and sending aid to those affected by the quake.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Logar’s visit is aimed at enhancing the relationship between Slovenia and Croatia and cooperation within the EU.