United States and Croatia Sign Two Bilateral Agreements at U.S.-Croatia Forum in Zagreb
Concluding the first day of the two-day U.S.-Croatia Forum, marking the 30th anniversary of U.S.-Croatia bilateral relations, Special Envoy to the Western Balkans and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar joined Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs Davor Božinović in signing two bilateral agreements.
The Partnership for Education (PFE) memorandum of understanding facilitates the PFE program between Croatia and the United States, providing training on complex transnational organized crime and terrorism investigations. Through the initiative, Croatia and the United States work together to help regional countries advance policing capabilities, both methodologies and techniques, while training EU aspirant countries in EU accession requirements. PFE is the only one of its kind in the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP), which maintains a global portfolio.
During the signing ceremony, Special Envoy Escobar said, “I’m honored to be here today with Croatian Minister Davor Božinović and colleagues from the U.S. Department of Justice to sign this Partnership for Education agreement. This program works to develop effective, professional and transparent law enforcement capacity that protects human rights, combats corruption, and reduces the threat of transnational crime and terrorism.” The Special Envoy added, “I commend Croatia’s leadership role in the region providing this type of important police training. We look forward to even greater collaboration as we partner to detect, disrupt, and deter transnational organized crime and terrorist actors in the Western Balkans.”
Deputy Prime Minister Božinović and Special Envoy Escobar secondly signed the Joint Cooperation Statement Toward the Development of a Global Entry Program, an international expedited traveler initiative. Global Entry is a Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved travelers upon arrival in the United States. Travelers enrolled in the Global Entry program are processed into the United States in minutes, without having to wait in line, facilitating faster secure travel for Croatians.
During the signing ceremony, Special Envoy Escobar said, “in September 2021, we achieved a significant milestone in the U.S.-Croatia bilateral relationship, when U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Mayorkas welcomed Croatia into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program as the 40th participating country.” He added, “we are pleased and excited that Croatia has made this significant step toward becoming one of our Global Entry partner countries. Croatian citizens who become members of the program will enjoy even greater ease in traveling to the United States for business or for tourism.”