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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June 2005, 13:05 GMT 14:05 UK
Croatia EU progress 'not enough'
Croatia fans
Ante Gotovina still has supporters in Croatia
The European Union has renewed criticism of Croatia for not making enough progress in co-operating with the Hague war crimes tribunal.

Co-operation with the United Nations court is a condition for the start of EU accession talks.

A spokeswoman for Chief UN Prosecutor Carla del Ponte said the EU position would not change unless war crimes fugitive Ante Gotovina was arrested.

Failure to do so has already delayed the talks, initially planned for March.

Gen Gotovina is wanted for alleged war crimes against ethnic Serbs in 1995.

Regret

A report by Ms del Ponte was due to be presented to the UN Security Council next week.

The EU's enlargement commissioner, Ollie Rehn, said the chief prosecutor had shown that some progress had been made, "but for the time being co-operation cannot be described as full".

"I regret that this is the case, but I understand that the Croatian authorities need more time to ensure that democratic structures are fully in control and that the entire state administration complies with the rule of law and with international obligations," Mr Rehn said in a statement.

"The EU is ready to start accession negotiations, as soon as Croatia meets the conditions."

Zagreb has said Gen Gotovina is no longer in Croatia.

Meanwhile justice ministers from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia are meeting to discuss co-operation in prosecuting war criminals.


SEE ALSO:
Croatia's EU hopes dashed again
26 Apr 05 |  Europe
EU warns Croatia about fugitive
31 Jan 05 |  Europe
EU hardens accession conditions
05 Oct 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Croatia
29 Sep 04 |  Country profiles


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