Portugal has expressed unreserved support for Croatia in that regard, Minister Grlić Radman told Hina after he held the hour-long talks with Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva in Lisbon.
Grlić Radman recalled that during his recent visit to Madrid, Spain’s officials also expressed support for Croatia’s Schengen membership bid and plans to join MED7.
MED 7 or EuroMed 7 is a group consisting of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta, and their ministers meet once a year to discuss topics of common interest and harmonize their positions. The group was established in 2013 at the proposal of Spain and Cyprus.
The next meeting of MED 7 is likely to be organized in Greece this autumn, and Grlić Radman said in Lisbon that he hoped that Croatia and Slovenia, which also aspire for MED7 membership, could attend that ministerial gathering.
The admission of Croatia and Slovenia to that association will bolster the Mediterranean cooperation, the Croatian minister said.
Portugal is the chair of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2021, and on Thursday, a Gymnich meeting, an informal meeting of the foreign ministers of the EU member states, will take place in Lisbon. EU-Africa relations, the unresolved conflicts in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and the Indo-Pacific region will be on the agenda. There will also be an exchange of views with the Jordanian Foreign Affairs Minister, Ayman Al Safadi, who has been invited to take part in the working lunch.
Grlić Radman, who will attend that meeting, said that he had congratulated Minister Santos Silva on the successful Portuguese EU presidency.
Croatian-Portuguese relations excellent, TAP introduces direct Lisbon-Zagreb flight service
Considering the Croatian-Portuguese relations, Grlić Radman described them as excellent without any outstanding issues.
He thanked Santos Silva for the prompt Portuguese assistance after the 29 December 6.2 strong quake hit central Croatia.
“We discussed economic cooperation. There is room for its advancement,” Grlić Radman said.
TAP Air Portugal, the state-owned flag carrier airline of Portugal, will restore the direct flights between Lisbon and Zagreb on 2 June, after it had ceased operating that line more than five years ago.
We are looking forward to that service, the Croatian minister said.
In 2019, 65,570 Portuguese visitors traveled to Croatia, and in 2020, their number fell to 7,122 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the data provided by the Croatian National Tourist Board.
Grlić Radman also welcomed the Portuguese authorities’ decision to relax rules for the entry of Croatians into Portugal. Currently, travelers arriving from Croatia into Portugal are required to have a negative PCR test to coronavirus and need no quarantine.
The two ministers discussed the developments in the Western Balkans and the EU enlargement to that part of Europe.
The European security and stability depend on the admission of those countries in the European space, and this is also important in the light of reducing the influence of third countries on Western Balkan countries, the Croatian minister said.
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