NFCA NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN AMERICANS 1329 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 PHONE: (202) 331-2830 NFCAhdq@aol.com FAX: (202) 331-0050
For Immediate Release: January 3, 2003
NFCA CONDEMNS CHRISTMAS EVE ATTACK ON CROATS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
(Washington, D.C.). The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) sent a letter to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding the recent killings of three Croats as they were celebrating Christmas Eve in a village near Konjic in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH). The killings were carried out by an Islamic extremist who belonged to a supposed humanitarian organization active in BH financed by Saudi Arabia. In the letter, NFCA President John Kraljic expressed concern about the status of Croats in BH. Mr. Kraljic urged the United States to specifically demand that Saudi Arabia cease from providing or allowing its citizens to provide any further aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Mr. Kraljic noted that Saudi Arabia has been spending large sums of money to promote its brand of Islam and culture which is alien to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He noted that "such open proselytizing is detrimental to the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a mainstream European state and represents an open threat to the remaining Croatian Catholics in the country" and further raised the prospect that Al-Qaeda remained active in BH. Mr. Kraljic also noted that the United States deserves part of the blame for not promoting a policy which would defend the rights of Croats in BH. While the NFCA does not endorse or support any political party in either Croatia or Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Kraljic noted that America’s policy of ignoring the Croatian Democratic Union of BH (HDZ BH), which has consistently won the support of the Croat electorate in BH by wide margins, has "left Croats defenseless before the political onslaughts of Serb and Islamic organizations in that country." Mr. Kraljic further pointed out that no American aid has been specifically directed to assure the return of Croat refugees and displaced persons in BH. In his letter, he urged that such aid be targeted "to assist Croat returnees to prevent further losses among Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina." Copies of the letter have been sent to the Chairmen of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and the House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee as well as to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The NFCA is a national umbrella organization whose members have approximately 130,000 members.