Ministry says statements by Croatian Embassy official on oil exploration misinterpreted

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The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry stated on Thursday that the Italian media had misinterpreted statements by an employee of the Croatian Embassy in Italy on the discontinuation of a project for oil exploration in the Adriatic.

The Italian news agency ANSA had reported that Ilija Zelalic, a minister-advisor at the Croatian Embassy in Rome, had told a conference in Ortona earlier this week that Croatia had given up on its plan to look for oil in the Adriatic, which elicited a positive response from environmental organisations.

The news agency quoted Zelalic as saying that Croatia had discontinued its projects for oil exploration in the Adriatic for the sake of protecting its coast and that Italy, too, should consider such a possibility as such projects posed a significant threat to the Adriatic.

ANSA also quoted Zelalic as saying that tourism was the most important sector that should be developed by countries that have borders on the Adriatric.

The S.O.S for the Adriatic environmental organisation immediately welcomed Croatia’s reported decision not to drill for oil in the Adriatic.

“We want to underline that the statements by Ilija Zelalic, employee of the Croatian Embassy in Italy, have been misinterpreted by the Italian media. As earlier officially communicated by representatives of the Croatian Government, the project to explore and exploit hydrocarbons has not been discontinued but rather the signing of the relevant contracts has been put on hold for now,” the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry told Hina.

(Hina)

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