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Irish parliament speaker meets Croatian PM

ZAGREB, July 20 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on Monday held talks with John O'Donoghue, speaker of the lower house of the Irish Parliament, on bilateral relations and Croatia's integration with the European Union.

O'Donoghue, who is on an official visit to Croatia at the invitation of Croatian Parliament Speaker Luka Bebic, congratulated PM Kosor on her latest appointment and she described relations between the two countries as excellent and thanked Ireland for its support to Croatia's efforts to join the EU.

PM Kosor said that apart from overcoming the current economic crisis, joining the EU was one of her government's most important tasks, according to a statement from the government's public relations office.

The accession talks could be completed by the end of the year if Slovenia lifts its blockade, said the PM, and her guest said he believed that Croatia would resolve its border dispute with Slovenia and use integration processes to speed up its economic progress.

PM Kosor also said that Croatia was completing reforms and aligning its legislation with EU standards at a fast track pace.

O'Donoghue informed his host of preparations for the coming Irish referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon, and PM Kosor said that Croatia was carefully following the matter.