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U.S. Visa Waiver Program: Croatia to be admitted in ‘coming months’

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Croatia to be admitted to U.S. visa waiver program

ZAGREB, Sept 30 (Hina) – Foreign Minister Gordan Grlic Radman said on Wednesday he expected a “positive decision” by the US in the months ahead about waiving visas for Croatian nationals.

“Various bodies in the US decide on that, with support from the American embassy. I think we can expect a positive decision in the months ahead,” the minister told the public broadcaster two days before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due in Croatia.

In order for visas to be waived, Croatia must have less than 3% of applications rejected. In the EU, only Croatian, Cypriot, Bulgarian and Romanian nationals need a visa to enter the US.

US Ambassador to Croatia Robert Kohorst said on Tuesday he still had no official report on the meeting of that requirement but that he was very optimistic.

Croatian state leaders and Pompeo will meet in Dubrovnik and are also due to discuss the revocation of double taxation between the two countries.

“Today the government will make a decision. We’ll show it to Secretary of State Pompeo. An evaluation is necessary also on their side and that will contribute to the legal certainty of taxpayers, notably those who have dual citizenship,” said Grlic Radman.

“Mechanisms for cooperation between the US and Croatian tax authorities will also be established,” he announced.

Croatian state leaders and Pompeo will also talk about the purchase of F-16 fighter jets.

“There is a call for bids, there is a procedure and deadlines,” Grlic Radman said, adding that “the US interest is natural, just as the interests of the other competing states.”

Croatia is buying 12 fighter jets. Offers have been submitted by the US, Sweden, France and Israel.

In Dubrovnik, Pompeo will meet with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, Grlic Radman and Defence Minister Mario Banozic.

Grlic Radman said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was expected to visit Croatia by year’s end for the opening of the embassy on a new location.

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