Marcon was received by Croatian President Zoran Milanović in his office on Thursday morning with the highest state honors.
Addressing the press after their talks, Milanović said that it was a special honor for him to receive the French head of state.
Macron said that he was proud of being the first French president to visit Croatia since the country gained independence. He said that it was unfair that no French president had visited Croatia before.
Announcing the continuation of cooperation between the two countries in the sectors of security and migrations, Macron added, “Schengen is also here.”
Croatia expects the legal procedure for a formal decision on its accession to the Schengen Area to be launched this December when Slovenia is still the chair of the Council of the European Union, and the final decision to be made in the first half of 2022 when France presides over the EU.
Milanović and Macron also discussed the procurement of 12 Rafale fighter jets from France for the Croatian Air Forces.
“This is a big deal in Croatia, both strategically and financially. I am happy about that,” Milanović said, adding that the strengthening of Croatia’s defence cooperation with France did not mean a halt in cooperation with the United States.
“We have cooperated and we will cooperate with the USA,” he said.
During the reception at the Pantovčak presidential office, Macron also held a brief meeting with Croatian pilots who will be trained to fly 12 Dassault Rafale F3R used multipurpose fighter jets.
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