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(E) NFCA November Newsletter
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  12/16/2001 | Politics | Unrated
(E) NFCA November Newsletter
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN AMERICANS 
 
1329 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, NW 
 
WASHINGTON, DC 20036 
 
 
MONTHLY BULLETIN, NOVEMBER 2001 
 
 
NFCA OFFICIALS MEET WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND ATTEND DINNER WITH 
 
PRESIDENT MESIC AND FOREIGN MINISTER PICULA 
 
 
On Thursday, November 8, 2001 NFCA President John Kraljic and Executive 
 
Board Member Steven Rukavina met with Paul W. Jones, Director of the 
 
Office of South-Central European Affairs at the US State Department, a 
 
meeting which continues the dialogue the NFCA has maintained for years 
 
with State Department officials. Among the many issues discussed, Mr. 
 
Kraljic and Mr. Rukavina expressed to Mr. Jones their concerns regarding 
 
the status of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and specifically noted 
 
the need to revise the Dayton Peace Accords to protect the rights of 
 
Croats as a constituent nation of that country. Further, they discussed 
 
the issue of Croatia's potential membership in NATO. Following their 
 
meeting at the State Department, Mr. Kraljic and Mr. Rukavina met with 
 
Kresimir Prisl and Mate Maras of the Croatian Embassy in Washington, DC. 
 
 
Later that week, on Saturday, November 10, 2001, Mr. Kraljic attended a 
 
dinner with Croatian President Stjepan Mesic and Croatian Foreign 
 
Minister Tonino Picula, both attending the United Nations General 
 
Assembly meeting in New York City. The dinner, organized by Domagoj 
 
Kero, Croatia's General Consul in New York, was attended by, among 
 
others, Croatia's Ambassador to the United States, Ivan Grdesic, and its 
 
Ambassador to the United Nations, Ivan Simonovic. The relatively 
 
intimate dinner, with a total of only about twenty people attending, 
 
allowed Mr. Kraljic and other Croatian-Americans in attendance (among 
 
them Anthony Peraica, NFCA member and Honorary President of the Croatian 
 
American Association) the ability to discuss many issues with Croatian 
 
President and Foreign Minister. Among other things, Mr. Kraljic 
 
presented a list of issues which he felt needed to be addressed by the 
 
Croatian state and government in order to strengthen its ties to the 
 
Croatian-American community. These included requests for the 
 
institution of direct flights between the US and Croatia, the retention 
 
of a public relations/lobbying firm by Croatia, the promotion of the 
 
study of the Croatian language and the establishment of a cultural 
 
center. Both President Mesic and Foreign Minister Picula expressed 
 
interest in further examining these proposals. 
 
 
The President and Foreign Minister discussed their half-hour meeting 
 
earlier that day with President Bush during which the Croatian President 
 
extended a formal invitation to President Bush to visit Croatia. Mr. 
 
Kraljic, Mr. Peraica and others expressed their concerns regarding many 
 
issues, including Croatia's relationship with the International War 
 
Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the status of Croats of 
 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. 
 
 
 
 
MEETINGS WITH DR. FRANJO TOPIC, PRESIDENT OF NAPREDAK 
 
 
Dr. Franjo Topic, President of the Sarajevo-based Croatian cultural 
 
organization Napredak met with NFCA President John Kraljic in New York 
 
City on Saturday, November 10, 2001. During their discussions, Father 
 
Topic described the impressive work Napredak is doing in Bosnia and 
 
Herzegovina. Napredak has chapters throughout the world, including one 
 
in the United States, headed by NFCA member Josip Knezevic. Mr. 
 
Knezevic escorted Father Topic to a number of meetings in New York City. 
 
After meeting with Croatian Fraternal Union officials in Pittsburgh, Dr. 
 
Topic attended the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic 
 
Studies annual meeting outside of Washington, DC where he presented a 
 
paper. During his stay in the Washington, DC area, Father Topic met 
 
with, among others, NFCA member Steven Rukavina. 
 
 
Those interested in learning more about Napredak or wishing to join the 
 
organization should contact Mr. Knezevic at 718-353-0069. 
 
 
NFCA PRESIDENT JOHN KRALJIC ATTENDS MEETING IN MONTREAL 
 
 
At the invitation of the local AMAC Chapter in Montreal, NFCA President 
 
John Kraljic presented a paper concerning the status of Croatian 
 
immigrants in the United States at a meeting held on October 21, 2001. 
 
The paper, which has been republished in a number of installments in the 
 
Croatian-Australian newspaper Hrvatski Vjesnik and appears in English 
 
and Croatian on the AMAC Montreal web page 
 
(www.amcaqc.mcgill.ca/activities/amca_lectures/john_kraljic.htm), 
 
presents Mr. Kraljic's views concerning the immediate future of the 
 
Croatian immigrant community throughout the world. Among other things, 
 
Mr. Kraljic noted that the relationship between Croatian immigrants and 
 
the Homeland had to date always been, effectively, a one way street and 
 
he urged that the Croatian government must now turn its attention to 
 
addressing the more mundane but important needs of the Croatian-American 
 
and Croatian-Canadian community. Approximately fifty people attended 
 
the meeting, many of whom engaged in a lively discussion concerning the 
 
issues raised following the speech. 
 
 
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 
 
 
The NFCA Business Development Committee continues it work with the US 
 
Chamber of Commerce and on a major Croatian economic development 
 
project. An NFCA delegation of Steve Rukavina, Zvonko Labas, Alenna 
 
Lepetic, Joseph Rukavina, Nensi Fiorenini and Vedran Podolski met with 
 
Mark Van Fleet, Senior International Division Manager at the US Chamber 
 
of Commerce headquarters in early October to discuss a specific project 
 
to assist Croatia's economy. The NFCA, in collaboration with the US 
 
Chamber of Commerce, is actively pursuing financial support from the US 
 
government to fund this three year project. 
 
distributed by CROWN (Croatian World Net) - CroworldNet@aol.com 
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