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(E) NFCA PRESS RELEASE June 30, 2003
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  06/26/2003 | Community | Unrated
(E) NFCA PRESS RELEASE June 30, 2003



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Erik Milman, 202-331-2830 

"Resolution Marking the Significance of the United States - Adriatic Charter 
Signing Passes U.S. House of Representatives with NFCA Support"

(Washington, D.C. June 30) The National Federation of Croatian Americans 
(NFCA) heralds the passage of Engel Resolution (H. Con. Res. 209) commending the 
signing of the United States-Adriatic Charter, a charter of partnership among 
the United States, Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia, on June 23rd in the U.S. 
House of Representatives. This legislation expresses the support of the U.S. 
Congress for this Sense of Congress Resolution which was reported out the House 
International Relations Committee on June 12 with the support of nearly 
thirty co-sponsors. 

U.S. Secretary of State Powell and the foreign ministers of Croatia, 
Macedonia, and Albania signed the Charter on May 2, 2003, in the Albanian capitol of 
Tirana. The Adriatic Charter and Engel Resolution were strongly supported by 
the diplomatic community in Washington, including Dr. Ivan Grdesic the current 
Ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico from the Republic of Croatia. NFCA President 
John Kraljic's letter in full support of passage of the Resolution was 
included in the debate in the Congressional Record by Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY) as an 
expression of Croatian-American support for the legislation. The Resolution 
passed 381 - 1. 

Under the Charter the nation-state signatories pledge to support the efforts 
by Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia to join Euro-Atlantic institutions like 
NATO and the European Union. The debate on the Floor of the U.S. House of 
Representatives noted that the three aspiring nations commit themselves to accelerate 
their democratic and defense reforms, protect human rights, implement 
market-oriented economic policies, upgrade their border security so they can further 
contribute to regional stability, and generally enhance their mutual 
cooperation by signing this agreement. A copy of the Engel Resolution follows this 
press release or can be obtained by contacting the NFCA Office in Washington, 
D.C. The entire June 23, 2003, debate in the Congressional Record can be viewed 

In the debate record, NFCA's John Kraljic noted that the "NFCA has long 
supported the Republic of Croatia's request for membership in the North Atlantic 
Treaty Organization (NATO). We believe it is a natural and important extension 
of Croatia's integration into important western security and related alliances 
since the Republic's reestablishment as a viable nation-state over ten years 
ago. Croatia is the most stable and economically developed country in the 
southeastern Europe. Its democratic structure has been strongly established as 
evidenced by three national elections since 1990. Croatia has a wide range of 
political parties and a free and independent press. Economically, Croatia's Gross 
Domestic Product is greater than that of most of its neighbors, some of whom 
have already joined NATO. Furthermore, since the time Croatia claimed its 
independence in the early 1990s, it has adopted American and NATO military 
techniques. Croatia currently participates as full partner in the U.S. and NATO war on 
international terrorism." Mr. Kraljic has vowed that the NFCA will continue 
to strongly support Croatia's inclusion in NATO at the very first opportunity 
that presents itself. 

The NFCA is a Washington, D.C.-based national umbrella organization that 
represents over 20 Croatian American groups and 130,000 members. 

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