Foreign Ministers Visiting USA

By 12 September 2018

ZAGREB, September 12, 2018 - Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejčinović Burić began an official visit to Washington on Tuesday, the first official visit of a Croatian foreign minister to the United States for several years.

The centrepiece of the visit is a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which is scheduled for Wednesday, and Pejčinović Burić said it was important to ensure that such visits were more frequent. "Croatia fosters good and friendly relations with America," she said and added that the US had supported Croatia "in the best possible way" in the process of its accession to NATO and the European Union and that their cooperation had been raised to a higher level.

"We believe that this strategic relationship and the defence cooperation that we have developed within NATO have the potential for further development," the minister said.

Pejčinović Burić noted that Croatia was among the few EU member states that needed visas for the United States. She said that some progress had been made in this regard, but that work should continue to make it easier for Croatian citizens to get a visa for the US and to abolish visa requirements.

On the first day of her visit, the Croatian minister delivered a talk at the Atlantic Council on Croatia's views on how to ensure a strong and successful European Union, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. She highlighted key challenges such as illegal migration, debates on the future of Europe, the EU after the United Kingdom's departure from the bloc, forthcoming elections for the European Parliament, energy security and the political situation in southeastern Europe.

She also talked about Croatia's preparations for joining the Schengen area and the eurozone, and the prospects of the Three Seas Initiative ahead of a summit in Bucharest.

Pejčinović Burić met with members of the Croatian community in Washington, stressing that the Croatian diaspora had provided invaluable support since Croatia gained independence in the early 1990s.