British Foreign Secretary Johnson Visits Zagreb

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Source: Government of Croatia

Boris Johnson met with Prime Minister Plenković and Foreign Minister Stier.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met on Wednesday with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is visiting Croatia. After the meeting, Plenković said that Croatia wanted to build strong relationship with the United Kingdom, especially in economy and tourism, reports Jutarnji List on November 9, 2016.

Plenković expressed his regret over the outcome of the British referendum on leaving the European Union, but also stressed that Croatia wanted to build relations with Britain and ensure freedom of movement for workers, according to a statement from the Government.

Johnson said that it was not in the interest of Great Britain to weaken the European Union and added that relations between Britain and the European Union would always be strong. He stressed that it was important to find the best way for Britain to leave the European Union with minimal effect on mutual trade.

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Johnson also met with Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier. The two ministers discussed Brexit, bilateral relations and the rights of Croatian citizens after Britain leaves the EU. “We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe. We remain strongly committed to Europe”, said Johnson, who visited Croatia as part of diplomatic initiatives which include a tour of European countries.

“We are committed to Europe, we are committed to Croatia. One thing we can certainly agree on is that we share the Euro-Atlantic vision for Europe, the United Kingdom, and of course Croatia. We share the same ambitions for NATO and the basic security architecture of Europe, which has guaranteed peace on our continent during the last 70 years”, said Johnson. He took the opportunity to congratulate Stier on his appointment as Foreign Minister and said he looked forward to close cooperation in the coming months.

Stier said that Croatia would have a constructive approach to the forthcoming negotiations between Britain and the EU. One of the issues that will be negotiated between the EU and Britain will be the free movement of people. Great Britain is one of a few countries that has not yet abolished restrictions on the employment of Croatian workers and last year it extended the restrictions for at least three more years. “We will first wait for the United Kingdom to activate Article 50, but we want to have a constructive approach to these negotiations. Of course, we will protect the interests of Croatia and Croatian citizens to have the same status as all other EU citizens”, said Stier.

Johnson recalled his visit to the island of Brač and Croatian wines. “I look forward to the day when I will be able to go to my shop in London and buy Dingač and Pošip wines. I can still remember that these were great wines, I do not know why they are not sold in London, probably because you in Croatia drink it all”, said Johnson.


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