Government Investigating Leak of Confidential Memo

Total Croatia News

190117 5 Washington
Source: HRT

Memo written by Croatian Embassy in Washington provides additional information about President’s recent visit to the United States.

On Wednesday evening, several Croatian media outlets published a confidential memo written by Croatian Embassy in Washington about the recent visit of President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to the United States. The visit drew interest from the public and media, particularly since the President has not disclosed whom she met during the seven days which she spent in the United States, reports Večernji List on January 19, 2017.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Plenković said that the government would investigate how did the confidential memo find its way to the media. “It is unusual for such memos to end up in the media. Foreign Minister Stier informed me that he had ordered an investigation in his Ministry to see what happened. I think that it is not good nor usual for such things to happen”, said Plenković, adding that he had talked several times with the President since her return.

“She has been elected by Croatian voters and she had very clear goals for her visit to the United States. As for the way in which the public was informed about it, that is not a job for the government, but for Office of the President and for President herself. In my opinion, she has explained it well enough”, said Plenković.

190117 5 Washington

The memo explains that President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, during her working visit to the United States from 1 to 7 January, met with the leadership of the Pentagon, US Senators Ron Johnson and Marco Rubio, Congressman Lou Barletta, former Senator Rick Santorum, Admiral James Stavridis and others. President also met with former US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who is reportedly close to the US President-elect Donald Trump.

The memo was sent on 17 January to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister, Defence Ministry, Office of the National Security Council, and to the director of the Security Intelligence Agency. The memo was written by Nikica Kopačević from the Embassy and approved by Ambassador Joško Paro.

The memo contains names and positions of some of the people the President met, and states that it was a working visit with the goal to “use the opportunity offered by the period of transition between the two administrations.”

According to the memo, President discussed foreign and security policy of President Trump, new attitude of the United States towards Russia, and presented Croatia as a “reliable partner and ally of the United States, the key for cooperation with the countries of Southeast Europe”. “For reasons of national security and in accordance with NATO and EU rules, President will personally inform highest state officials about other meetings”, states the memo.

Key messages made by the President concerned Southeast Europe. She expressed concern about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and warned about security threat “represented by the rise of Islamic radicalism and the return of foreign fighters”. She also warned about harsh rhetoric about Croatia coming from Serbia, “in order to cause insecurity among the Serbian minority and denigrate Croatia in the international community”. President also spoke about dangers which may arise in Southeast Europe if the international community, especially the United States, turn their focus away from the region.

She also discussed her Three Seas Initiative, as well as the issue of abolition of visas for Croatian citizens and possible signing of an agreement to avoid double taxation between the two countries.


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