Croatia, Serbia ink military deal

Croatia and Serbia signed a military cooperation deal on Tuesday.

Croatia, Serbia ink military deal

Croatia and Serbia signed a military cooperation deal on Tuesday.

"This agreement has a professional and political importance. It is well known that Serbia and Croatia still have a number of open issues and the agreement provides an impetus for better cooperation," Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac said.

Branko Vukelic, his Croatian counterpart, said the agreement also had an economic component.

"The agreement is important because of a possible cooperation of our military industries, which are quite complementary. It is possible they will jointly appear on foreign markets," Vukelic told reporters.

Sutanovac said Serbia's military industry had considerable commercial potential and was hoping to earn one billion dollars from military exports this year.

Serbian defence industries have stepped up production in the past three years, mainly exporting to Iraq, Libya, the United States and Myanmar. The total value of export deals in 2009 exceeded $650 million.

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic, heads of the two biggest ex-Yugoslav states, have met several times this year in a symbolic resumption of ties.

But a number of issues remain unresolved, including the fate of those who went missing in the war, the return of refugees and property, borders and protection of minorities.

Croatia joined NATO in 2008, while Serbia is not seeking membership of the alliance, which bombed it in 1999 to halt Belgrade's killings of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

"Serbia is in NATO's Partnership for Peace. For now, this is a good enough framework for cooperation," Sutanovac said.

Agencies

Last Mod: 08 Haziran 2010, 16:41
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