President Meets with UN Secretary General

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 25, 2018 – Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said in New York on Monday, after meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, that they shared concern about the situation in southeastern Europe ahead of forthcoming important events.

“It was a very productive meeting. I respect the fact that during these days he has 128 meetings so we agreed to continue our dialogue. We share concern about the situation in southeastern Europe, about a series of forthcoming processes, starting from elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the fact that the country’s election law has not been changed, to negotiations between Belgrade and Priština, to anticipation of the result of the Macedonian referendum,” the president told the press after the meeting.

She added that Guterres was very well acquainted with the situation in the region. “I would want him to get a little bit more involved. I would want us to launch initiatives that will lead to resolving open issues and to a lasting peace in southeastern Europe. We agreed to continue our cooperation, meetings and talks.”

Grabar-Kitarovic also discussed the Belgrade-Priština dialogue with Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci, particularly possible territory swaps. “We are very cautious in that regard and I conveyed our arguments and our view and the fact that the principle of the Badinter Commission concerning borders in the territory of the former Yugoslavia must stay carved in stone.”

The Croatian president attended a reception given by US President Donald Trump and the First Lady for senior officials participating in the annual UN General Assembly meeting.

Grabar-Kitarović said she had already met with the US president during Monday’s summit on narcotics and that they would also meet on the margins of the General Assembly on Tuesday. “We will continue to talk about our bilateral relations and I will continue to put pressure for a double taxation agreement, and of course the visa regime and the rest, but we will also talk about issues concerning our neighbourhood, the Three Seas Initiative, and generally about our relations within NATO and global security.”

She said that UN General Assembly meetings were an opportunity for her to meet with heads of state with whom she otherwise did not have an opportunity to meet, adding that earlier in the day she had met with the presidents of Paraguay, Namibia and Cuba, and that she had been invited to visit Cuba.

The Croatian president also met with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach. She said that the IOC also wanted to get involved in efforts to assist victims of migrations and migrants and refugees themselves through sports, “not just to provide refuge to people but to ensure them a normal life, including practising sports.”

Grabar-Kitarović was due to address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, but her speech has been rescheduled for Wednesday at her own request so that she can have more time for bilateral meetings.


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