President Grabar-Kitarović Meets with US Senator Marco Rubio

Total Croatia News

President has been in the United States since 1 January, and this is her first confirmed meeting.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who has been in the United States for the last five days, met with Republican Senator Marco Rubio with whom she discussed ways to strengthen relations between the United States and Croatia within NATO. Interestingly, the news was announced by Senator Rubio on his Twitter profile, and not by Office of the President, reports Večernji List on January 5, 2017.

On his Twitter account, Senator Rubio posted a photograph with President Grabar-Kitarović, with whom he met on Wednesday evening. Rubio said that he and the President discussed ways to strengthen relations between the United States and “the close NATO ally”.

Office of the President announced on 31 December that President Grabar-Kitarović would visit the United States where she would remain until 5 January. The Office has not released other details of the visit since then. At the time, the media reported rumours that the President was travelling to the United States in order to meet with several members of the transition team of US President-elect Donald Trump and several people under consideration for a position in future US administration. Office of the President did not confirm nor deny these reports.

On Wednesday, Chairperson of the Commission for Conflict of Interest Prevention Dalija Orešković confirmed that they had received three companies about President’s travel to the United States and that the Commission would check whether there was reason to initiate further action. Orešković said that the complaints asked the Commission to determine whether there had been a violation of the Law on Conflict of Interest. The problem was that at the time it was not clear whether it was a private trip paid from the state budget or if it was indeed an official trip with the protocol which usually accompanies presidential travel.

Office of the President announced on Wednesday afternoon that the visit was official and that the President went to the United States on a commercial flight, together with her Head of Cabinet.

President’s visit to the United States has drawn considerable media interest in Croatia in recent days, since it is unusual for her to visit other countries without official programme of activities being published and without any official statement being issued about meetings and events.

Marco Rubio is a prominent Republican senator from Florida, who was one of the main opponents to Donald Trump during primary elections for Republican presidential nomination. After he was defeated by Trump, Rubio decided to run for re-election to US Senate, which he won easily.


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