Sarajevo's Cardinal Vinko Puljic and the NFCA Meet with Washington Decision Makers – Congressional Letter Sent to US Department of State
Washington: DC - Members of the National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) were honored to again assist esteemed Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo with his meetings schedule while recently in Washington DC. Cardinal Puljic was in Washington for an official visit that included meetings at the US State Department, with Members of Congress, and at the White House for discussions with National Security Council staff. In addition, he delivered several speeches before Washington’s influential foreign policy think tanks. The Cardinal's visit also involved attending Croatian American gatherings on the East Coast and celebrating Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
The NFCA was pleased to again help establish and support Cardinal Puljic’s itinerary so that the ongoing economic and political plight of Croatian Bosnians would be better understood by Washington's foreign policy decision-makers. Contemporary issues discussed at length included: (1) the ongoing difficulty that Bosnian Croats experience in returning to their former homes in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) and the state-let Republika Srpska (RS); (2) the lack of legitimate ethnic and political representation of Croats in the three-person Presidency in BiH; (3) a call for needed modifications to The Dayton Peace Accords; and, (4) the exacerbating economic and political problems for all in BiH due to the inability of the county to formulate a government.
Subsequent letters to the US State Department (see attachment) were strategically developed by Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and were sent ahead of these meetings to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). The letters quoted the NFCA's long standing concerns related to modifying parts of The Dayton Peace Accords that continue to adversely affect Croatians in BiH and effectively retard the political progress of this new nation-state and important southern neighbor of Croatia's. Meetings were with Speaker Boehner, Senator Begich, US State Department European Bureau policy makers, the White House National Security Council staff, and US Representatives Gallegly, Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Dan Burton (R-IN), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Chris Smith (R-NJ) and others with interest in SE European and Balkan affairs.
The NFCA Cultural Foundation is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For additional public affairs information, please contact Mr. Joe Foley, Public Affairs Director, at (301) 294-0937, or NFCACF Headquarters at (301) 208-6650. The email address is NFCAhdq@verizon.net. For recent newsletters, important NFCACF membership application and chapter information, and other Croatian American news please visit the Web Site at http://www.nfcacf.org.
National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF)
2401 Research Blvd, Suite 115
Rockville, MD 20850
Tel: (301) 208-6650
Fax: (301) 208-6659
Web Site: http://www.nfcacf.org
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