A Joint Statement (Reblogged)

US – Croatia Joint Statement 17 March 2022

March 19, 2022 by inavukic Leave a Comment

The following is the text of a joint statement by the United States of America and the Republic of Croatia on the occasion of the U.S. Croatia Strategic Dialogue dated 17 March 2022.

The Governments of the United States and Croatia held a Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on March 17, 2022, which underscored the deepening cooperation between the United States and Croatia and sets the vision for our shared goals of promoting peace, security, and prosperity in both Europe and globally.

The Strategic Dialogue comes as the United States and Croatia mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Director for Political Affairs Petar Mihatov and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Dr. Karen Donfried led the Strategic Dialogue, which included discussions on six key pillars of the bilateral relationship:  Global Issues, Defence and Security, Energy and Climate Change, Regional Cooperation, Trade and Investment, and People-to-People Ties.

Global Issues

The United States and Croatia committed to work together to advance shared foreign policy goals, intensify bilateral cooperation, and strengthen the Transatlantic bond.  They also committed to promote democracy, rule of law, and fundamental human rights both regionally and globally, building on pledges made during President Biden’s Summit for Democracy in December 2021.  The United States and Croatia underscored their strong support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and called on Russia to cease its unprovoked war.  They underscored a joint desire to defend the common values of the Euro-Atlantic community and stressed the importance of preserving the rules-based international order, supporting good governance, and protecting democratic societies.  The United States welcomed Croatia’s entry as the 40th member of the Visa Waiver program and affirmed Croatia has made great progress toward becoming a partner country in the Global Entry Program.  The United States welcomed Croatia’s commitment to fully empower a Holocaust envoy with a view to intensifying dialogue on all related issues, including property wrongfully seized during the Holocaust.

Defence and Security

As NATO Allies and strategic partners, the United States and Croatia underscored their commitment to promoting peace and stability in Southeast Europe and Europe as a whole.  Both sides emphasised the continued importance of developing high-end defence capabilities, conducting bilateral exercises and training activities to improve interoperability and readiness, and the importance of meeting NATO commitments in support of our collective security.  The United States and Croatia reaffirmed that the most recent cooperation resulting in Croatian procurement of M2A2 Bradley vehicles is a significant step toward meeting one of Croatia’s priority NATO Capability Target requirements.  The two countries intend to work closely on the future Strategic Concept of NATO, with a view to strengthening the Alliance in fulfilling its mission as the guarantor of peace and security in Europe.  Both parties underlined the importance of EU-NATO cooperation, ensuring complementarity and strengthening interoperability, and recognised NATO as the foundation of Euro-Atlantic security and the essential forum for collective defence of the transatlantic community.  The United States and Croatia underscored the importance of cybersecurity and intend to look to strengthen cooperation in this field.

Energy and Climate Change

The United States and Croatia recommitted to their shared goals of increasing energy diversification and security and tackling climate change through decarbonisation and clean energy policies, as well as the adaptation of our societies to climate change.  The United States lauded Croatia for its leadership on energy diversification through the opening of the floating liquefied natural gas terminal off Krk island and noted the shared goal that Croatia support energy diversification for the broader region through projects like the Southern Connector to Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The two sides explored opportunities for strengthening cooperation in renewable energy production and distribution.  Croatia reiterated its commitment to phase out coal by 2033, and the United States praised Croatia’s goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and join the Global Methane Pledge.  Both sides committed to deepen bilateral and regional cooperation on energy and climate through the Partnership for Transatlantic Energy and Climate Cooperation (P-TECC).

Regional Cooperation

The United States and Croatia emphasised their joint commitment to advance the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the Western Balkans countries, and to see Croatia’s neighbours firmly anchored in a Europe free, whole, and at peace.  The United States and Croatia recognised that the countries of the Western Balkans must meet the strict criteria to join the EU and NATO while underscoring that the door to these organisations must remain open and viable to incentivise necessary reforms to promote lasting stability and security.  The United States and Croatia concurred on the importance of preserving the stability and territorial integrity of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the need to secure electoral and limited constitutional reforms aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination and ensuring the equality of three constituent peoples and rights of all citizens.  They also concurred on the need to eliminate fraud, corruption, and pressure on voters, and to ensure election outcomes reflect the will of the people.  The United States and Croatia highlighted the importance of Western Balkans countries resolving near-term legacy and open issues as an essential step on their Euro-Atlantic path.  The United States thanked Croatia for its leadership on joint efforts to fight corruption and protect the rule of law through the INL-funded Department of Justice law enforcement educational partnership and prosecutor training in the Western Balkans.

Trade and Investment

The two sides reaffirmed their shared commitment to broaden and deepen bilateral economic and commercial cooperation, expressing satisfaction with reaching a final stage of negotiations and recognising the desire for a swift conclusion of a treaty for the avoidance of double taxation.  They shared ideas on increasing trade and investment across various sectors.  The United States welcomed Croatia’s invitation to begin the accession process to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.  Croatia and the United States exchanged ideas and concrete plans for intensifying cooperation taking into account the growing urgency for development and humanitarian aid for countries in need.

People-to-People Ties  

The United States and Croatia share extensive and meaningful people-to-people connections that promote mutual understanding between the people of both nations.  Both countries remain committed to expanding educational, cultural, and professional exchange opportunities, including through the Fulbright Program.  The two sides look forward to collaboration on STEM programming and enhanced connections between U.S. and Croatian universities.

(Prepared and accessed by Ina Vukic 19 March 2022)

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WELCOME!

Welcome to my blog. Here I will bring to you a variety of topics covering the documented truth about that terrible war that Croatia had to endure during the period between 1991 and 1995 and about Croatian political history that shaped a wonderful nation of people.

Croatian people wanted independence for centuries, just as they had it until the twelfth century but fate was not on their side – others wanted their beautiful land. In late 1980′s the will to break free from Yugoslavia which suffocated freedom and self determination through harsh communist party rule finally bore the desired fruit.

In June 1991 Croatia declared its independence; soon after the aggressive war against Croatia broke out. The struggle of the Croatian people for self-determination was a just one. But I fear genuine justice has not been served as there have been, and there still exist, international covert and overt moves to equate victims with aggressors continue in attempts to change history. Truth often becomes obscured and lost and that is why I have chosen to write this blog, to concentrate on actual events and issues about Croatia – wishing it a bright and freedom-loving future.

It certainly was not easy to come out of the war that was fought on two fronts:

1. On the military front the world’s public has seen the indiscriminate bombardment of Croatian cities, towns and villages from land, sea and air; the destruction of civilian targets including homes, schools, hospitals, churches, factories and cultural monuments; the blockading and destruction of roads, bridges and ports; the blockading of power, water, food and medical supplies. What hasn’t been shown on our television sets is the forced clearing and evacuation of towns and villages, followed by looting, torture, rape and murder carried out by the Serbian forces, who were initially backed by the federal Yugoslav army that was largely constituted by Serb nationals; the transportation of multiple hundreds of innocent Croatian civilians from Croatia into concentration camps Serbia (Begejci, Stajicevo, Sremska Mitrovica… from October 1991, and later (1992) transferred into Serb-held camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Omarska, Keratern, Manjaca, Trnopolje).

2. The second front was the war of political propaganda centred on: misinformation about the rights of minorities in Croatia; portrayal of the Croatian people as Ustasha or Fascists; the representation of the Croatian defence forces as illegal paramilitary units; the representation of the Croatian and Slovenian republics as unreasonable secessionists who are unwilling to negotiate; a regurgitation of distorted facts about World War II.

Indeed Croatia had an absolute right to defend itself and this is often forgotten if not often denied it.

INA VUKIC


Ina has been a tireless volunteer on humanitarian aid and fundraising for victims of war in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially war orphans. From1991 to beginning of 1994 she contributed in lobbying for international recognition of Croatian independence and Croatia’s rights in defending its territory and people from military aggression by Serbian forces. For this dedicated voluntary work Ina was awarded two Medals of Honour by the first president of the Republic of Croatia in 1995 (Commemorative Medal of the Homeland War and Order of the Croatian Trefoil).Ina has also written hundreds articles for newspapers in Australia and Croatia on the plight of Croatian people for freedom and self-determination, developing democracy in former communist countries. She holds two graduate and one post-graduate university degrees, specialising in behaviour, clinical and political psychology and management.

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About Jonathan Caswell

Mr. Caswell has been composing poetry at least since High School. He has been on WORD PRESS for ten years and contributes to two other blogs beside this one. This blog has a Christian emphasis but all bloggers are welcome. Mr. Caswell chooses to---with permission--re[post material of interest

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