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01/14/09

MacKay says Canada wraps up ratification of protocol on Croatia's NATO entry



ZAGREB, Jan 14 (Hina) - Canada on Tuesday completed the process of ratifying a protocol on Croatia's admission into NATO and is considering to further liberalise the visa regime with Croatia, the Canadian Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, told Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in Zagreb on Wednesday.

PM Sanaderand MacKay talked about international security, Croatia's admission into NATO and the European Union, the state of affairs in Southeast Europe, and bilateral cooperation.

Canada on Tuesday wrapped up the ratification of the protocol on Croatia's joining NATO, Mackay said, adding that his country wanted to see Croatia join the EU as soon as possible.

He stressed that Croatia made a historic achievement and in a short period of time went from being a country receiving international peace troops into a country actively contributing to international security, thus setting an example to other countries.

By taking part in an international peace-keeping mission, Croatian soldiers are contributing to the stabilisation and development of Afghanistan.

The Canadian government is seriously considering the possibility to further liberalise the visa regime for Croatia, MacKay said.

Sanader said the cancellation of the visa regime would additionally boost bilateral cooperation at all levels.

Sanader also underlined the importance of the Croat community in Canada, which serves as a bridge of cooperation, thanking Canada for the ratification of the protocol on Croatia's admission into NATO.

The talks also focused on economic cooperation and new investments into the Croatian economy.