Foreign Minister Meets with US Secretary of State Pompeo

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 13, 2018 – Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović-Burić met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Wednesday, saying that the two countries had good and friendly relations which should be bolstered by more frequent contacts.

Pejčinović-Burić was on an official visit to the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday, the first visit of a Croatian foreign minister to the US for several years.

She said that she and Pompeo discussed bilateral relations, above all economic ones, agreements that would further improve the economic cooperation, the need to begin talks on a double taxation agreement, and lifting visa requirements. “These issues are important for citizens of Croatia as well as for the promotion of investment and trade between Croatia and the US,” Pejčinović-Burić told the press after the meeting.

She described Croatian-US relations as good and friendly, stressing that they had been so for many years, but noted that it was important to have “direct communication as often as possible.” She said the US was important to Croatia also because the largest Croatian emigrant community, of about one million people, lived there.

Speaking of Serbia and Kosovo and the issue of changing borders, on which the State Department expressed a softer view recently, Pejčinović-Burić said she expressed concern about possible territorial swaps “because we believe that this is not the principle on which European countries have been functioning after World War II and it would not be good to make divisions along ethnic lines, because any divisions of that kind and territorial swaps could lead to destabilisation and replicate in other countries in the region and beyond.”

She said that dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo was very important for Croatia and that it was important to reach an agreement “that will not threaten security in the countries in the region or have wider implications.”

Also discussed was the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the run-up to general elections on October 7 and the status of ethnic Croats in that country. “We have warned that these elections are very important and that it is essential that the election results are applied legitimately,” the Croatian minister said.

On the subject of a referendum in Macedonia on the country’s name, scheduled for September 30, Pejčinović-Burić said Croatia hoped that the citizens “will make the right choice.”

The Croatian minister is also scheduled to meet with Mira Ricardel, deputy national security adviser to the US president; Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Europe; and David Joyce and Nanette Barragan, co-chairs of the Croatian Caucus in the House of Representatives. She is also due to deliver a talk, “Reinforcing Our Transatlantic Alliance: Croatia’s Contributions and Ideas”, organised by the Heritage Foundation.


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