ZAGREB, Oct 22 (Hina) – The government on Thursday sent an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Government of the United States of America concerning the deployment of Air Marshals, to parliament for ratification, as a legal precondition for joining the US Visa Waiver Programme.
“Security cooperation between Croatia and the USA is gaining a more concrete and substantial form on a daily basis. After an agreement between the Interior Ministry and the US Department of Homeland Security on cooperation in preventing and combating serious crime, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between the Interior Ministry and the Centre for Terrorism in Washington, after which a comprehensive questionnaire was completed for Croatia to be accepted to the US Visa Waiver Programme,” Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic underscored.
Part of the activities is also a Memorandum of Cooperation on Passenger Name Record information-sharing, signed on Tuesday with the Department of Homeland Security.
“That provides the legal prerequisites for technical connectivity between our information systems for fingerprint exchange, and the connecting of the Interior Ministry and FBI data bases is currently underway,” said Bozinovic.
He underlined that in the meantime for the first time the “percentage of rejected visa applications by Croatian citizens has fallen to below three percent,” and is currently at 2.7%.
“We are launching today the ratification procedure for the agreement between the two governments on the deployment of air marshals, which was signed in June,” Bozinovic explained.
The agreement defines the subject matter and area of application, relevant bodies to implement the agreement, operational procedures, general responsibility of both the country of departure and the country of arrival, training and technical support, as well as the issue of costs and dispute resolution.
It also defines the term air marshal, who is in charge of the security of planes and their passengers and crew and provides defence in combatting terrorism and other security threats.