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Prime Minister Kosor and European Enlargement Commissioner Fuele discuss completion of EU entry talks this year

ZAGREB, Feb 18 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on Thursday received European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele, who welcomed Croatia's considerable progress in accession negotiations with the European Union and stressed that 2010 was the year in which this big and demanding job was expected to be completed.

Fuele also welcomed the border arbitration agreement with Slovenia and the resolute fight against corruption, voicing confidence that Croatia would continue to invest maximum effort in its cooperation with the Hague war crimes tribunal.

Fuele said he wanted to see Croatia in the EU in 2012, adding the achievement of that goal was also important for strengthening stability throughout southeast Europe.

Kosor said the completion of the entry talks this year was a priority for her government, together with the strengthening of the rule of law and the strengthening of the economy.

Both officials agreed the opening of negotiations on the Fisheries and Environment policy chapters, planned for Friday at a Croatia-EU accession conference in Brussels, was an important goal towards the achievement of the common goal -- the completion of the entry talks.

Kosor briefed Fuele on the government's activities to meet EU membership criteria, not only regarding the policy chapters that needed to be opened or which were being negotiated, but on provisionally closed ones as well.

Kosor reiterated support to neighbouring countries, mentioning the Croatian-Slovenian initiative for the Euro-Atlantic perspective of southeast Europe and a conference to take place within that initiative later this month.