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Croatian Leader Makes Historic Visit To Belgrade

15 November 2004 -- Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader made a historic visit to Belgrade today.

It was the first visit to Serbia and Montenegro by a Croatian leader since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Sanader received a red-carpet welcome and a guard of honor at the government headquarters before starting talks with Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic.

Marovic said after the meeting that the discussions confirmed the mutual political interests of the two countries.

Croatian Justice Minister Vesna Skare Ozbolt and Serbia and Montenegro Human Rights Minister Rasim Ljajic later signed an agreement on the protection of minorities in the two warring former Yugoslav republics.

Sanader also met Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who described the visit as of "extreme importance" to the Balkans region as it struggles to rebuild from the interethnic wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.