Hungarian foreign minister visits Croatia

Hungary's Foreign Minister Ferenc Somogyi said Tuesday his country, which joined the European Union last year, is ready to advise Croatia on its path toward EU membership. Somogyi came to Zagreb for a one-day visit, where he is expected to prepare with his Croatian counterpart for a joint session of the two countries' governments later this month.

After meeting President Stipe Mesic, Somogyi said Hungary continues to fully support Croatia's bid to join the EU. Mesic said Hungary's experience in fulfilling EU's criteria was important to Croatia. On Oct. 4, the EU opened membership talks with Croatia, a prelude to eventual membership, after delaying them for months because of Croatia's failure to capture a top war crimes suspect, Ante Gotovina. Gotovina was eventually arrested in Spain on Dec. 7.

Somogyi later talked to his Croatian counterpart, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, about the planned Jan. 26 joint governments' session, which is to be held in Hungary. Kitarovic said the session should include traffic, environment, trans-border cooperation, as well as the joint Croatian-Hungary candidacy for hosting the 2012 European soccer championship. Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany last year held joint government meetings with Romania and Austria, reports the AP. N.U.

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