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Council Of Europe: Croatia May Soon Join Council

Strasbourg, 24 September 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Croatia may soon be admitted to the Council of Europe as its 40th member state, Estonian Foreign Minister Slim Kallas indicated today.

In an address to the Council's Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Strasbourg, Kallas said one important criterion for Croatia's entry was whether it has "respected its obligations deriving from the peace agreement for Bosnia...and in particular has contributed to the proper conduct of the (recent) elections in that country."

Kallas was citing a July resolution by the Council's Committee of Ministers, the organization's chief executive organ, which is due to re-examine Croatia's request for membership later this month. Estonia currently holds the rotating presidency of the Committee of Ministers.

Council officials told our correspondent that a report by the organization's observer mission to the Bosnia elections speaks favorably of Croatia's cooperation. They say Croatia is likely to attain membership next month.