Croatia to Appoint New Ambassadors to Washington and Moscow

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After long delays, Croatia should soon appoint new ambassadors.

The government has launched an urgent procedure for appointment of some 20 new Croatian ambassadors and consuls in diplomatic missions around the world, with posts in Washington, Moscow and Paris seen as a priority. The new list that the government will soon send to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is updated and significantly different from the one which was proposed by former Foreign Minister Miro Kovač, reports Jutarnji List on December 1, 2016.

Among proposed future ambassadors there is no Ivo Banac, who was the candidate of the previous government to become the ambassador in Washington. Since it is perhaps the most important diplomatic post, consultations between the government and the Office of the President have still not been completed.

The list of potential ambassadors also does not include Nansi Ivanišević, who was proposed as the ambassador in Paris. Although Jakov Despot was until recently mentioned as the future ambassador to the Russian Federation, it is likely that he will be named to a less senior position at the mission in Moscow, and that another, more experienced diplomat will become the ambassador.

The list proposed by the government includes former Defence Secretary Josip Buljević, who is expected to become an ambassador in a neighbouring country, and one of possible candidates for ambassadorship is retired General Drago Lovrić, who was Chief of Staff of the Croatian Army.

According to sources, the list is being compiled by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier and should soon be submitted to the government and President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović for further consultations. Then the formal procedure will start, which will include the opinion of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Policy and seeking agreements from receiving countries.

It is expected that the appointments will be done in two waves, and that they will also include some diplomatic missions where terms of ambassadors have not yet expired. President reportedly insists that the changes at the Croatian diplomatic missions should be done as soon as possible so that the diplomatic network would be ready to implement the foreign policy advocated by the current state leadership.

It is believed that among those who will soon return to Zagreb will be Joško Paro, whose term in the United States has already expired, as well as Ivo Goldstein, who is at the end of his term in France. The first wave of appointments should also affect the embassy in Montenegro, and the current Ambassador Ivana Sutlić-Perić. Changes are also expected at the embassies in Berlin and Rome, while Vladimir Drobnjak could get a second term as head of the Mission to the United Nations.


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