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Zagreb, June 2 (MTI) – Hungary and Croatia’s interdependence throughout history and the presence of national minorities in both countries call for closer cooperation between the two states, House Speaker László Kövér said in Zagreb on Thursday.

If the two countries’ interests collide, the conflicts must be resolved in a civilised and friendly manner, Kövér told a press conference after holding talks with his Croatian counterpart, Zeljko Reiner.

Kövér said Hungary and Croatia have a number of disputes to resolve, which he said impact not just political ties, but the economy, culture and education as well.

The two countries should work together to find common solutions to the challenges facing the European Union as an institutional system and cultural community, he said.

He said Croatia and Hungary should concentrate on areas of their relations that unite them, but should also try to resolve the issues that separate them.

“Countries like Hungary and Croatia can only enforce their interests within the EU by working together with member states similar to them,” Kövér said.

Reiner said he had discussed with Kövér, among other things, cooperation within the EU and economic and infrastructure investments. They discussed planned developments to the Rijeka-Zagreb-Budapest railway line as well as the construction of the so-called 5C transport corridor, including a motorway that will connect Budapest and Ploce in the southern tip of Croatia and pass through Sarajevo.

He noted that both governments had declared 2016 a Miklós Zrínyi memorial year, to mark the 450th anniversary of Hungarian-Croatian nobleman Miklós Zrínyi and his outnumbered army’s heroic defence of the Szigetvár fortress in south-west Hungary against the advancing Ottoman army.

Kövér also met Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and Miro Kovac, Croatia’s foreign minister.

Kövér and Oreskovic agreed that their countries’ intergovernmental mixed committee was an ideal platform for institutional cooperation through which open issues could be resolved, said a statement from the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office. The next meeting of that body will be held in Osijek (Eszék) in the autumn, the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Kövér met leaders of Hungarian organisations in Zagreb.


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