US Department of State: Pompeo Travels Croatia to Promote Security Alliance & Economic Ties

“The United States values Croatia’s leadership and our strong bilateral partnership more than ever.”

Washington, DC (STL.News) The US Department Of State released the following statement:

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo will travel to Dubrovnik, Croatia October 2, 2020, where he will meet with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman.  The Secretary will highlight the importance of Croatia’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership and the growing U.S.-Croatia economic and investment relationship, and he will underscore the importance of Croatia’s role to the future of European and Transatlantic security and prosperity.

THE UNITED STATES-CROATIA RELATIONSHIP

  • The United States and Croatia enjoy a strong bilateral relationship defined by shared democratic values, the NATO security alliance, and a growing economic partnership.  This is enhanced by our people-to-people efforts to bring our citizens closer together.  As friends and NATO Allies, we are both key contributors to European and global security.
  • The United States established diplomatic relations with Croatia in 1992 following its independence from Yugoslavia.  Since, the United States supported Croatia’s development as a democratic, secure, and market-oriented society, a strong partner in Euro-Atlantic institutions, and the United States has welcomed Croatia’s positive and stabilizing role in the region.  U.S. assistance has been important in enabling Croatia to become a leading partner in Southeast Europe and a model for its neighbors.  Croatia’s commitment to democracy and reform led to its accession to the European Union (EU) on July 1, 2013.

THE UNITED STATES AND CROATIA AS NATO ALLIES

  • Security cooperation is fundamental to our bilateral relationship.  The United States looks to Croatia to play an important role in Transatlantic security, especially due to its strategic location between Western and Eastern Europe and in the Mediterranean.  Together, we address global challenges and shared threats.
  • A NATO Ally since 2009, Croatia has participated in NATO operations including the International Security Assistance Force, the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, and United Nations peacekeeping missions.  Croatia also participates in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense has a robust military-to-military relationship with Croatia.  The United States provides military assistance to Croatia in the form of training, equipment, equipment loans, and education at U.S. military schools.
  • Our joint military training operations, and the recent demonstrations of our capabilities, including Operation Allied Sky, are powerful symbols of this partnership.  The United States is proud to offer military vehicle and equipment acquisition options to Croatia in support of Croatia’s Long-Term Development Plan and has provided more than $700 million in military assistance and training to Croatia over the past decade.
  • The United States advocates for a vibrant digital economy worldwide that benefits from the promise of secure and clean 5G networks.  We hope to cooperate further with Croatia on this to secure the communications infrastructure of the future.

BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP AND ENERGY DIVERSIFICATION

  • The U.S.-Croatia business relationship is strong and continues to grow.  More than 100 U.S.-based companies operate in Croatia, representing over $184 million in direct U.S. investment, $820 million in total invested capital, and employing more than 7,000 people.
  • In 2019, U.S exports of goods to Croatia increased to over $710 million (up by over $95 million from 2018).  Total goods trade between the United States and Croatia was $1.26 billion in 2019, an increase of $178 million from 2018.
  • U.S. exports of goods and services to Croatia were $987 million in 2019, up $105 million (12 percent) from 2018, and imports from Croatia were $917.0 million in 2019, up $150 million (20 percent) from 2018.
  • We are committed to working with the Croatian government to facilitate economic growth in both our countries, and encourage the government to continue bold reforms and investment choices.
  • Croatia also plays an important role in regional energy security.  In January 2019, the Croatian Government finalized its investment decision for the Krk Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) import project, which will help diversify Europe’s energy supply.  The project is scheduled to go online in January 2021.

EXCHANGES AND PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES

  • Croatia and the United States share a strong commitment to educational exchanges. Although COVID-19 has forced many of our exchange programs to pause this year, interest in exchanges remains strong on both sides of the Atlantic. Post-COVID, we will make every effort to ensure that these robust exchanges between our two countries continue.
  • Each year, more than 500 Croatian students study at a U.S. college or university.  Recently, approximately 700 American students per year have chosen to study abroad in Croatia. Since 1992, approximately 475 Croatian and American students, teachers, lecturers, and researchers have promoted deeper people-to-people ties through the Fulbright program.
  • U.S. government exchange program alumni have risen to prominence in government, business, science, and the arts, including President Zoran Milanović, who traveled to the United States on two International Visitor Leadership Programs in 1996 and 2001. Former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is a 2002-03 Fulbright exchange alumna.
  • “MeetUS” is the Embassy’s country-wide outreach program to deepen community connections between Americans and Croatians and build people-to-people partnerships around shared goals and aspirations.  The program has connected all 20 counties in Croatia to American officers from a range of backgrounds, helping our two peoples share experiences and ideas.

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