Croatian President Stjepan Mesic in Athens on Tuesday held talks with his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias and said that Croatia's admission into Euro-Atlantic associations would strengthen good and friendly relations between Croatia and Greece.
"After Croatia joined NATO, an additional space has been created for even better cooperation between Croatia and Greece, because now we are allies in this important political and military alliance," President Mesic told reporters after the meeting with Papoulias. He added that Croatia would soon join Greece in the European Union. "I am referring to the fact that we are in the final stage of our EU entry talks. I am confident that Croatia has the political will and strength to fulfill all conditions necessary to gain EU membership," President Mesic said, stressing that EU accession talks cannot be connected to any outstanding issue with a neighbouring country.
President Mesic told his Greek counterpart that Croatia advocated EU membership of all countries in the region, depending on the pace of their progress on that path. "We are ready to help every country of the region on that path," he stressed. He added that bilateral relations between Zagreb and Athens were good and friendly, stressing however that they could be better. "To achieve that, our governments must invest additional efforts as do our business people," President Mesic said. The talks also focused on the situation in Southeast Europe.
Later today, the Croatian president is expected to meet Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos.