21:47 / 11.05.2021.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Foreign Minister on official visit to Spain

(Photo: HRT)

(Photo: HRT)

Foto: - / HRT

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman arrived in Madrid on Tuesday on day-one of a two day visit to Spain.

Discussions with his Spanish counterpart focused on economic and cultural cooperation, the coronavirus pandemic, and EU enlargement in the Western Balkans.

Spain also repeated its strong support for Croatia joining the Schengen area and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Foreign Minister María Aránzazu Gónzalez Laya said Croatia met the requirements to join the OECD and that it should not be a political but a technical issue. As a member, Croatia would get a confirmation of its international reputation, she added.

"We discussed two issues of particular interest to Croatia, namely Croatia's entry into the Schengen area and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Spain strongly supports Croatia in both of these regards. We also discussed our economic cooperation and trade," she said.

The minister added that tourism was crucial to the economies of both Spain and Croatia. Therefore, she said, "we support the rapid adoption of green digital certificates in order to guarantee the safe mobility of citizens."

For his part, Croatia's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Gordan Grlić Radman, said relations between the two countries were very good.

"We share the same views on a number of issues that are on the EU agenda and internationally as well," said Grlić Radman.

He also thanked Spain for supporting Croatia's strategic goals, which include joining the OECD, the eurozone, and the Schengen area.

Spain and Croatia are both in the Friends of Cohesion group, which opposes attempts by northern EU states to cut cohesion funds in the 2021-27 EU budget.

"Although Spain receives less money from the common budget than before the entry of Croatia and other countries, it wants that policy to reach those countries because it was successful for us. It helped us to build the infrastructure and mend public services, The cohesion policy is a good way to give additional impetus to the European Union," said Gónzalez Laya.

"Let's not forget that a large part of northern countries' profits come thanks to the large market made up by the southern countries in the EU. The Friends of Cohesion are part of that market."

Source: HRT

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