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Brussels, 5 November 2010

Statement by Commissioner Füle on reconciliation initiative Croatia-Serbia

I welcome the important step forward towards reconciliation in the Western Balkans in the light of Presidents Josipovic and Tadic visits to Vukovar and Paulin Dvor. Such places could become the symbols of reconciliation and an example for the entire Western Balkans region.

We attach particular importance to good neighbourly relations and regional cooperation as part of the Stabilisation and Association process. Much has been done over the past year by the leadership in Serbia and Croatia, including the signing of several important bilateral agreements on police cooperation, defence cooperation and extradition of citizens suspected or convicted of serious crimes. We expect this commendable work to continue.

The fresh impetus that has been given to Croatia-Serbia bilateral relations by such high-level events could help to solve the outstanding bilateral issues in a true European spirit. Both Croatia's and Serbia's future lie in the European Union, a Union where reconciliation is one of the founding features.

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