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Croatia parliament ratifies EU deal

Croatia's members of parliament have unanimously ratified an accession treaty with the European Union, paving the way for the country to join the bloc next year as planned.

All 136 members voted for the accession at a special parliament session that was also attended by government members and foreign diplomats.

Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said joining the EU will help Croatia create a stronger and more successful state.

Croatia signed an EU accession treaty last year after years of negotiations. Its citizens backed the entry at a referendum in January.

All of the current 27 EU nations must ratify the treaty before Croatia can become the newest member, an occasion set for July 2013.

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From Belfast Telegraph