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EU Opens Membership Talks With Croatia

The European Union has opened membership talks with Croatia after the United Nations' chief war crimes prosecutor said the Balkan country is now cooperating with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw led a brief ceremony early Tuesday formally opening the talks. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader attended the event.

The European Union postponed membership talks with Croatia in March when
U.N. war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte said Zagreb was not doing enough to find indicted war crimes suspect General Ante Gotovina.

Ms. del Ponte said Monday Croatia is now fully cooperating with the tribunal, but the EU ministers warn talks could be called off again if Zagreb does not continue its compliance with the Hague court.

Croatia hopes to join the European Union in 2009.

Some information for this report provided by AP. AFP