Macron hints at French support for Croatia’s admission to Schengen Area

NEWS 25.11.2021 12:12
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Source: N1

President Emmanuel Macron said in Zagreb on Thursday that France and Croatia would continue cooperating in the sectors of security and migrations, and "hinted at French support for Croatia's plan to join the Schengen Area," state agency Hina said.

Marcon was received by Croatian President Zoran Milanovic in his office on Thursday morning. Addressing the press after their talks, Milanovic said that it was a special honour for him to receive the French head of state.

Macron said that he was proud of being the first French president to visit Croatia since the country gained independence. He said that it was unfair that no French president had visited Croatia before.

Announcing the continuation of cooperation between the two countries in the sectors of security and migrations, Macron added, “Schengen is also here.”

Croatia expects the legal procedure for a formal decision on its accession to the Schengen Area to be launched this December when Slovenia is still the chair of the Council of the European Union, and the final decision to be made in the first half of 2022 when France presides over the EU.

Milanovic and Macron also discussed the procurement of 12 Rafale fighter jets from France for the Croatian Air Forces.

“This is a big deal in Croatia, both strategically and financially. I am happy about that,” Milanovic said, adding that the strengthening of Croatia’s defence cooperation with France did not mean a halt in cooperation with the United States. “We have cooperated before, and we will continue cooperating with the US,” he said.

During the reception at the Pantovcak presidential office, Macron also held a brief meeting with Croatian pilots who will be trained to fly 12 Dassault Rafale F3R used multipurpose fighter jets.

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