Post-War Croatia and Serbia Ink Landmark Military Deal

Croatian Defense Minister Branko Vukelic and Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac.

From Reuters:  Former Balkan foes Croatia and Serbia signed a military cooperation deal on Tuesday in another sign that the region of former Yugoslavia is overcoming the legacy of ethnic wars fought in the 1990s.

"This agreement has a professional and political importance. It is well known that Serbia and Croatia still have a number of open issues and the agreement provides an impetus for better cooperation," Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Sutanovac said. …

Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and Serbian counterpart Boris Tadic, heads of the two biggest ex-Yugoslav states, have met several times this year in a symbolic resumption of ties.

 Josipovic told Reuters this week the military pact was "a serious sign of normalisation and a good prospect for the future".

 But a number of issues remain unresolved, including the fate of those who went missing in the war, the return of refugees and property, borders and protection of minorities.

 Croatia joined NATO in 2008, while Serbia is not seeking membership of the alliance, which bombed it in 1999 to halt Belgrade’s repression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

 "Serbia is in NATO’s Partnership for Peace. For now, this is a good enough framework for cooperation," Sutanovac said.  (photo: Reuters)

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