Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Says Croatian Companies Interested in Egyptian Market

ZAGREB, 30 March, 2021 - Croatian companies are showing great interest in the Egyptian market which can be the gate to a market of close to one billion people, Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said at the start of a two-day visit to the most populous Arab country.

A country with which Croatia has traditionally friendly relations, based on long-lasting understanding and partnership, Egypt is one of the most important economic partners to Croatia not only in Africa but in the Middle East as well, the minister said.

Grlić Radman sees possibilities for cooperation in the oil and wood-processing industries, energy, shipbuilding, defence industry and infrastructure works.

The minister started his visit to Egypt by paying tribute at the Croatian memorial cemetery in El Shatt, the place where almost 30,000 Croats, mostly from Dalmatia, the Dalmatian hinterland and islands, were evacuated to during World War II.

"856 of them died here and that is why we laid wreaths and lit candles for them today," said the minister.

He also visited the Suez Canal, an economically very important zone that attracts important investments.

The delegation accompanying Grlić Radman includes business people and economists.

A Croatian-Egyptian business forum is to be held on Wednesday, with more than 120 business people attending, and the event will be opened by Grlić Radman and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Cooperation with Egypt is important to Croatia also because of Egypt's relations with the European Union and membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Grlić Radman said.

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Friday, 12 March 2021

Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman Thanks Greece For Post-Earthquake Aid

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman on Friday thanked his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Dendias for his country's aid to Croatia after last year's devastating earthquakes.

"I'm taking this opportunity to thank Minister Dendias for the generous and prompt humanitarian aid that Greece sent to earthquake-hit areas in Croatia," Grlić Radman said in Athens, where he arrived for an official visit a day after visiting Cyprus.

"Greece itself was recently hit by strong earthquakes and I'm conveying our support and willingness to help," he added.

Greece was struck by two tremors earlier this month, the strongest measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, which caused material damage but no fatalities.

Support for Croatia's membership bids

Grlić Radman also thanked Dendias for the Greek support for Croatia's accession to MED7, a group which comprises seven Mediterranean EU member states - Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

He also thanked Dendias for supporting Croatia's accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the euro and Schengen areas.

The two ministers underlined the importance of continuing EU enlargement to Southeast Europe and of Brussels having a consistent policy so that candidates do not lose the European perspective.

Grlić Radman cited Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is having a hard time managing the migrant crisis, and underlined solidarity with Greece, which is also on the front line of that "big political, security and economic problem."

The minister said they were pleased with the increase in Croatian-Greek trade, singling out the Greek company Avax, which is building access roads to the Pelješac Bridge in Croatia.

 For more about earthquakes in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Monday, 28 December 2020

Croatia and Israel Sign Partnership Agreement Between Foreign Ministries

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - Croatian and Israeli foreign ministers Gordan Grlic Radman and Gabi Ashkenazi respectively have signed a memorandum of understanding on a strategic partnership between the two ministries, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announced in a press release on Monday.

The signing of the document was agreed to during Grlic Radman's official visit to Israel in September.

"I consider the memorandum to be an important step forward in cooperation between Croatia and Israel. I am convinced that the strategic partnership between our two countries will bring many benefits to both states and our citizens," said Grlic Radman.

According to the memorandum, the two countries will promote political and economic cooperation and strengthen relations in areas such as digital diplomacy, crisis communication, providing humanitarian and development aid to third countries, cooperation within the framework of European Union programmes and projects, cooperation in combating climate change, exchanging academics, experts and diplomats, and promoting cultural cooperation, the press release said.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Croatia Marks 20th Anniversary of Membership in WTO

ZAGREB, November 30, 2020 - Croatia today marks its 20th anniversary of membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which it joined on 30 November 2000 as the 140th member, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said on Monday.

Accession to the WTO was the foundation for the integration of Croatia's economy with the European and global market, the ministry said in a press release.

Croatia's WTO membership marked a period of further liberalisation, boosting exports and participation in world trade as a factor of development.

That was the first step towards European and regional economic integration and membership of the European Union, the ministry said.

Today the multilateral trade system is faced with many challenges and the current situation requires all WTO members to invest additional effort to find new ways to achieve a more stable trade environment based on regulations, the press release added.

Croatia is confident that the WTO can provide answers for today's key challenges and issues so that it can modernise and facilitate doing business in the 21st century, the ministry said.

Croatia is a strong and dedicated supporter of the multilateral system and sees the WTO as a necessary and valuable partner, it said.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Minister Says Bosnia's Election Law Detrimental to Croats, Should Be Changed

ZAGREB, November 2, 2020 - Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman has called on political representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina's three main ethnic groups to change the country's election law, claiming that its current provisions are detrimental to local Croats.

Grlic Radman made the statement during a visit to Mostar on Monday, noting that current election legislation made it possible to impose political representatives on local Croats.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina's future depends on an agreement between Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks. Their leaders should reach agreement on the country's future, and here we have an election law that is detrimental to the Croat people and it should be changed," Grlic Radman told reporters before delivering a lecture at Mostar University on the 25th anniversary of the Dayton peace agreement.

"Croatia strongly advocates the implementation of all rulings of the Constitutional Court and amendment of the election law so that all three peoples and other citizens are enabled to elect their own representatives at all levels of government. The country's three-member Presidency was intended to reflect the result of voting for representatives of individual peoples, which now is not the case. We want that to change and we want the spirit of the Dayton agreement and its provisions to be respected as agreed 25 years ago," said the minister.

The Croat National Assembly (HNS) of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which brings together the biggest Croat political parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been organising lectures, panels and other events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Dayton peace agreement, which was signed after three-week negotiations on 21 November 1995 in Dayton, Ohio, and which put an end to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In the 2018 elections Zeljko Komsic was elected the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina mostly owing to the votes of Bosniaks who are three and a half times more numerous than local Croats.

"It is necessary to ensure that each of the peoples feels at home in this beautiful country, able to exercise its own rights and elect its own representatives. If we in Croatia keep hearing that Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are dissatisfied, then something must not be right," said the minister.

He noted that Croatia strongly advocated Bosnia and Herzegovina's Euro-Atlantic journey and that it wanted a stable, functioning and prosperous Bosnia and Herzegovina.

"It is very important that Bosnia and Herzegovina reflects the general provisions and spirit of the Dayton Accords and Annex IV of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the basic legal document regulating the status of Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs as constitutent peoples and their equality," he said.

Grlic Radman also met with the leadership of Mostar University today, who thanked Croatia for its support to the university.

Friday, 30 October 2020

Foreign Ministry: No Croatian Nationals Among Victims of Greece Earthquake

ZAGREB, October 30, 2020 - There are no Croatian nationals among the victims of the earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey on Friday, the Ministry of Foreign and European affairs said.

A magnitude 7 earthquake hit the Aegean Sea south of the city of Izmir on the west coast of Turkey at 11:50 local time.

The Turkish emergency management authority said that at least six people were killed and 202 were injured.

At the moment, there is no official information that any Croatian national has been killed in the earthquake that struck Greece and Turkey, it was said in the ministry's press release.

The embassies in Athens and Ankara, as well as the consular office in Istanbul, are monitoring the situation and are available to Croatian nationals for all necessary assistance, it was added.

Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman extended his condolences to his Greek and Turkish counterparts, Nikos Dendias and Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic also expressed his solidarity with Turkey and Greece.

"We deeply regret the tragic loss of life and the damage sustained and we wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Croatia is available to provide assistance," he said on Twitter.

According to Turkish sources, the earthquake measured 6.6 on the Richter scale, and according to American sources it measured 7.

The epicentre was in the Aegean Sea, and the earthquake was felt in Greece and Turkey, where several buildings collapsed.

A tsunami warning was issued on the Greek island of Samos following the earthquake.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

FM Says Visas for the US to be Waived in Months Ahead

ZAGREB, Sept 30, 2020 - Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said on Wednesday he expected a "positive decision" by the US in the months ahead about waiving visas for the US  for Croatian nationals.

"Various bodies in the US decide on that, with support from the American embassy. I think we can expect a positive decision in the months ahead," the minister told the public broadcaster two days before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due in Croatia.

In order for visas to be waived, Croatia must have less than 3% of applications rejected. In the EU, only Croatian, Cypriot, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals need a visa to enter the US.

US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst said on Tuesday he still had no official report on the meeting of that requirement but that he was very optimistic.

Croatian state leaders and Pompeo will meet in Dubrovnik and are also due to discuss the revocation of double taxation between the two countries.

"Today the government will make a decision. We'll show it to Secretary of State Pompeo. An evaluation is necessary also on their side and that will contribute to the legal certainty of taxpayers, notably those who have dual citizenship," said Grlic Radman.

"Mechanisms for cooperation between the US and Croatian tax authorities will also be established," he announced.

Croatian state leaders and Pompeo will also talk about the purchase of F-16 fighter jets.

"There is a call for bids, there is a procedure and deadlines," Grlic Radman said, adding that "the US interest is natural, just as the interests of the other competing states."

Croatia is buying 12 fighter jets. Offers have been submitted by the US, Sweden, France, and Israel.

In Dubrovnik, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Grlic Radman, and Defence Minister Mario Banozic.

Grlic Radman said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was expected to visit Croatia by year's end for the opening of the embassy on a new location.

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Sunday, 23 August 2020

Foreign Ministry Urges Austria to Find Solution to Traffic Jams on Borders

ZAGREB, Aug 23, 2020 - Croatia's Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has expressed concern about the situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border, where there are huge traffic jams, urging the countries' authorities to find a solution.

Minister Gordan Grlic Radman has contacted his Austrian colleague Alexander Schallenberg, the Croatian Embassy in Vienna has been in contact with Austria's Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry since early morning, and the Assistant Foreign Minister has spoken on the phone with the Austrian Ambassador to Croatia, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Croatian officials expressed concern about the situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border and called for an urgent solution in order to enable a faster flow of vehicles and reduce the "worryingly long wait" for entry into Austria, also for transit vehicles.

On Saturday Vienna introduced strict controls on the border with Slovenia because of the coronavirus, which has resulted in traffic jams that did not clear even on Sunday morning.

"We believe that we will soon find a solution, for the benefit of all travellers, so that they reach their destinations as soon as possible, and the latest information from the Austrian Interior Ministry is on easing up the strict measures and procedures and improving the flow of vehicles entering Austria," the Ministry said, adding they would continue monitoring the situation on the Austrian border and respond accordingly.

In recent days, Vienna has been reporting a steady increase in the number of infections in Austria, to which holidaymakers returning from Croatia have been contributing.

Last week, Austria included Croatia on the list of high-risk countries and warned against travel to Croatia, and since 17 August holidaymakers returning from Croatia have had to show a current negative test for the coronavirus or undergo testing within 48 hours and self-isolate in the meantime.

On Sunday, Austria reported 191 new cases of the coronavirus infection in the past 24 hours, underscoring that fewer tests were conducted on the weekends.

In the previous days, the number of new infections rarely dropped under 300.

Since the beginning of the epidemic, Austria has had a total of 25,253 positive cases and 732 deaths.

The situation on the Slovenian-Austrian border crossing of Karavanke was slowly getting back to normal on Sunday afternoon, the Slovenian police and traffic services said.


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