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Croatian deputy PM Kosor receives Estonian defence minister

ZAGREB, April 30 (Hina) - The Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Family, Veterans Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity, Jadranka Kosor, met in Zagreb on Thursday with Estonian Defence Minister Jaak Aaviksoo, who conveyed greetings from the Estonian prime minister and congratulated Croatia on joining NATO.

Kosor thanked Estonia for its resolute and unequivocal support to Croatia in the process of integration with NATO and the European Union.

Kosor said that joining NATO and the EU were Croatia's strategic foreign policy goals and that her country was willing to help its neighbours in achieving the criteria for membership of the two associations.

Aaviksoo stressed the importance of Croatia's NATO membership for achieving long-term stability and security in Southeast Europe.

Aaviksoo said Croatia and Estonia were successfully cooperating in many areas because the two countries had similar pasts and shared the vision of the European future. He expressed hope that Estonia and Croatia would soon be sitting at the same table in the European Union as well.

Kosor informed her guest about the course of Croatia's EU accession negotiations, saying that Croatia, despite the present blockade, was continuing its work according to plan and would be ready to complete the negotiations by the end of the year as soon as the blockade issue was resolved.

Aaviksoo and Kosor also discussed cooperation in other areas, notably in the economic sector and tourism.