Miro Kovač i  Karl Erjavec.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ STA/ Nebojša TEJIČ/ ik

Slovenia's Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec and Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac spoke in Dubrovnik on Thursday regarding bilateral issues and established that both sides remain firm in their position on the border dispute between the two countries, the Slovenian foreign ministry said.

Erjavec said that he had met with Kovac privately on the margins of the 1st Forum of the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region (EUSAIR) and that they spoke about bilateral issues.

Both agreed that it was necessary to continue activities directed at strengthening trust and stability in the neighbourhood and ascertained that as far as the resolution of contentious border issues are concerned, both sides stood firm in their differing positions, a press release says.

"Slovenia still insists on the arbitration process while Croatia wishes to resolve the matter bilaterally," Erjavec told the Slovenian STA news agency.

Last year Croatia withdrew from the arbitration because Slovenia had compromised the process after Slovenian foreign ministry official Simone Drenik had been in contact with Slovenia's arbiter Jernej Sekolec, and then stopped applying the bilateral agreement to resolve the border dispute by arbitration signed in 2009.

Slovenia believes that the arbitration procedure should continue and be concluded with a binding ruling and claims that despite the error made by the two Slovenian officials their contact had not caused a grave violation of the provisions of the arbitration agreement which was the basis to terminate the arbitration procedure.

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