Croatian President Stjepan Mesic met Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Parliament Speaker Philippos Petsalnikos during a working visit to Athens on Tuesday. Both sides said they were pleased with their bilateral relations, stressing that there was room for their further promotion. President Mesic thanked Greece for supporting Croatia in Euro-Atlantic integration, adding that Croatia wanted all Western Balkan countries to join the European Union. The Greek officials reiterated that Athens strongly supported Croatia's EU membership bid and believed that Croatia would be the first country to join the Union after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty.
President Mesic presented Croatia's view of developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, stressing that Croatia was permanently interested in having good relations with Serbia and other countries in the region. Also discussed were Croatian-Slovenian relations in the context of Croatia's EU accession negotiations. President Mesic informed his guests of the details of an arbitration agreement on the settlement of a border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia. President Mesic later told reporters he was pleased that the Croatian parliament had endorsed the arbitration agreement, describing it as an important step on Croatia's path to EU membership. "Since the agreement did not determine arbitrators, I think we should now focus our attention on the list of arbitrators," President Mesic said.
Speaking of the construction of an Adriatic-Ionian Highway, President Mesic said it was important for all countries through which the highway would pass that this project should be finished. The Greek hosts also stressed the importance of strengthening transport cooperation between the two countries. Earlier in the day Mesic was received by his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.