" Croatia's weekly Feral Tribune said the government's policy was to

"reconcile with Serb-led Yugoslavia, while continuing to hate Serbs.

Associated Press

September 9, 1996

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) -- Croatia and Yugoslavia formally recognized each other Monday, papering over longtime rivalries between the region's two most powerful countries.

The six-month war in Croatia between government troops and Serb rebels backed by Serbia-led Yugoslavia spilled over into Bosnia less than a year later. Croatia's army recaptured most Serb-held territory in Croatia last summer after Serbia, which dominates what is left of Yugoslavia, abandoned the rebels in its quest for an end to U.N. sanctions and to international isolation.

Monday's ceremonies, which included an exchange of diplomatic notes, followed an agreement reached two weeks ago between the countries' foreign ministers on de facto recognition. In practice, the agreement will improve the two countries' relations and simplify border crossings.

Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic recently said the agreement ended "Yugoslav aggression on Croatia" and would speed the country's integration into European institutions. But territorial disputes remain to be negotiated, and decades of bad feelings between Serbs and Croats that were exacerbated by the Croatian and Bosnian wars continue bubbling under the surface.

"reconcile with Serb-led Yugoslavia, while continuing to hate Serbs."