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Bulgaria/Croatia: Leaders Discuss Creation Of Free Trade Zone

Sofia, 16 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic met today in Sofia with Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and Prime Minister Ivan Kostov.

Our Sofia correspondent quotes Kostov as saying that the leaders discussed the creation of a free trade zone. The two sides also promised to share their experiences concerning help from international institutions.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) last week voted to delay a $40 million loan disbursal to Croatia. U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said Washington had urged the delay because of Croatia's failure to comply to terms of the Dayton peace accords.

Granic is the highest ranking Croatian official to visit Bulgaria since Zagreb declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Our correspondent says Granic is expected to sign agreements with Bulgaria's finance and agriculture ministries.