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Arbitration panel grants Slovenia access to high seas, much of Bay of Piran

Staff Writer |
An international arbitration panel has granted Slovenia unhindered access to the high seas for the first time since the breakup of Yugoslavia.

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This is part of a ruling that aims to settle a long-running territorial dispute between Slovenia and Balkan neighbor Croatia.

The five-judge tribunal on Thursday granted Slovenia much of the Bay of Piran, off the Adriatic coasts of the two countries, and also gave Slovenia a "junction" linking its territorial waters and international waters, which otherwise would not extend into the high seas.

Judge Gilbert Guillaume said the junction allows Slovenia "uninterrupted and uninterruptable" access to the high seas.

Croatia walked out of the arbitration in 2015 and says it does not recognize the panel's findings.

"The International Arbitration Tribunal is a valuable instrument of international law and plays an important role in resolving interstate disputes," the Germany Embassy in Coratoa said.[break]

"In connection with a bilateral issue, Slovenia and Croatia jointly underwent an international arbitration procedure by agreement of 4 November 2009.

"Therefore, irrespective of the content of the decision, the principle of international law is important from the point of view of the German Government, that the decisions of the arbitral tribunals must be respected and that the parties must implement them.

"Preserving the integrity of the international judiciary is in the common interest of all states. European Union member states must be guided by a good example."

However, Croatian politicians said that they don't care what Germany said and since the country left the process, it is not important what the international court's decision will be.

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