ZAGREB, 19 Dec 2020 – The Foreign Ministers of Croatia, Italy and Slovenia issued a joint statement in Trieste on Saturday saying they share a vision of the Adriatic Sea as a bridge connecting all countries in the region and as a source of prosperity. for all.
The meeting follows announcements from Italy and Croatia that they will declare their respective exclusive economic zones on the Adriatic Sea.
The Adriatic Sea, as a semi-closed sea with intensive maritime traffic and fragile ecosystems, requires an integrated approach to environmental protection, risk prevention and sustainable development, said a joint statement signed by Croatia’s Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman, Luigi Di Maio. from Italy and Anze Logar from Slovenia.
The ministers agreed to continue talks on further cooperation in a trilateral format in key areas, including economic development, connectivity, a blue economy and comprehensive marine protection. To that end, the three countries will establish a mechanism to promote cooperation at the political and expert level.
Italy and Croatia exchanged information on the progress of an initiative to declare their respective exclusive economic zones, reaffirming that they are taking this step fully in line with the principles of international law, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the law of the European Union. In addition, the ministers agreed to hold the next trilateral meeting in the first quarter of next year.
Grlic Radman expressed satisfaction with “a very useful exchange of views on the progress of cooperation,” adding that today’s meeting focused primarily on operational modalities and priority areas for advancing trilateral cooperation in the Adriatic Sea.
“In the meeting we spoke positively about our relationship and I think this meeting is a good start for cooperation in various fields. The three countries remain committed to promoting cooperation in a true European spirit to protect the Adriatic Sea, bringing our coastal countries. bring together and transform our area of coexistence together, “said Grlic Radman at the end of the meeting.
He said Croatia would declare an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in January as an upgrade to the existing Ecological and Fisheries Protection Zone (EFPZ). He said that Croatia would exercise this right under international law and with the consent of Italy and Slovenia.
The Secretary of State for the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Europe, Andreja Metelko Zgombic, noted that the meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere.
He said that the Croatian EEZ boundary would overlap with the existing EEZ until an agreement was reached with Italy and Montenegro on zoning final.
As for Slovenia, Metelko Zgombic said there was no cause for concern because “even the voices in Slovenia in favor of the border arbitration results can be assured because the arbitration decision itself, which Croatia, unlike Slovenia, does not accept, clearly says that the exclusive economic zone can announced in the Adriatic or Mediterranean in the future and it will not violate Slovenian rights. “
He said the rights of third countries remain protected because the exclusive economic zone guarantees freedom of navigation.
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