Pjer Šimunović Croatia’s New Ambassador to United States

By , 20 Mar 2017, 14:49 PM Politics
Pjer Šimunović Croatia’s New Ambassador to United States Source: Ministry of Interior

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After a long delay, it seems that the decision on the new ambassador in Washington has been made.

According to unofficial sources, Pjer Šimunović is expected to become the new Croatian ambassador to the United States. His appointment will be part of the a larger group of about twenty new ambassadors whose names will be submitted to the official procedure, which includes obtaining approvals from the host counties, reports Jutarnji List on March 20, 2017.

The selection of Šimunović, who is currently Chief of Staff of the National Security Council and a long-time diplomat, is a good decision because he is a skilful diplomat and expert on military and defence issues with a dazzling professional career. He has good relations with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, on whose initiative he was appointed to his current position, but also with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier. If there are no further problems, it is expected that Šimunović could replace the outgoing ambassador Joško Paro before the summer.

Šimunović was born in Split in 1962 and he has extensive experience in journalism. After completing studies in comparative literature and Italian literature, in the 1990s he worked for Večernji List daily as a global affairs journalist and analyst. He interned at the Fondation Journalistes in Paris and worked for the BBC as a reporter and producer.

He has a master’s degree in war studies from the Department of War Studies at King's College London, and after returning to Croatia he became deputy head of Department for Analysis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In March 2000, he became first secretary and a counsellor at the Croatian Embassy in Paris. He then became assistant foreign minister, in charge of the Directorate for International Organisations and Security, and in March 2004 he was appointed the national coordinator for NATO. He then moved to the Defence Department, where in 2008 he became the director of defence policy and state secretary. He was later appointed as ambassador to Israel. He speaks English, French and Italian and is the author of many political and defence studies published in reputable international publications.

Šimunović was already mentioned once as a candidate for ambassadorship in Washington several years ago. However, then President Ivo Josipović later decided to appoint Paro, while Šimunović continued his professional career. He was a very active ambassador in Israel, despite delicate political and diplomatic circumstances, and the appointment as ambassador to Washington will be the crown of his diplomatic career.

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  • Due to smoke and reduced visibility on the A1 motorway between Gospić and Sveti Rok junctions the driving speed has to be reduced to 80 km/h. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. On the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway one lane is free only in Vršek and Lučice tunnels (on the section Ravna Gora-Delnice) in direction Rijeka tonight (23 March) 10pm-6am. In Učka tunnel in Istria one lane is free only every night 10pm-6am till 24/25 March. Tonight (23 March) 8pm-5am traffic is suspended on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj motorway between Trakošćan and Krapina junctions in both directions, detour: DC1 state road. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. The headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče at Božići viaduct in both directions, in Sveti Rok tunnel in both directions till 24 March (driving speed limit of 80 km/h); -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Zaprešić and Zabok junctions 20th-18th km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 118th-121st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan at Kraljevečki Novaki junction 93rd-94th km in both directions, in Hrastovec tunnel in both directions; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June, on the section Vrata junction-Vrata tunnel in direction Rijeka till 24 March; -Rijeka detour road in the exit lane of Rujevica junction in direction Rupa; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Roadworks on the A4 Zagreb-Goričan motorway (Zagreb detour road): - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; - till 26 April traffic is suspended in the exit lane of Popovec junction from direction Goričan towards Popovec, detour for direction Vrbovec-Popovec: Sveta Helena junction (A4)-Sveta Helena-DC3 Goričica-Belovar-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec junction, for direction Goričan (A4)-Sveta Helena: Komin junction (A4)-DC3-Sveti Ivan Zelina-Donja Zelina-Žerjavinec-Soblinec-Popovec. Lepenica rest area (at 57th km) on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway is closed till 15 June, the previous rest area and petrol station is the one Ravna Gora (at 30th km), the next one Cernik-Čavle (17,8 km away from Lepenica). Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje till 10 April; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC25 Lički Osik-Karlobag state road (at 40th km) 8am-3pm till 24 March. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Poličnik, on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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  • Outbound freight traffic is dense at Bajakovo. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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