Biden Visit to Croatia Confirms US Engagement| MENAFN.COM

Sunday, 07 August 2022 10:16 GMT

Biden Visit to Croatia Confirms US Engagement

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) US Vice-President Joe Biden has arrived in Croatia for a summit of the so-called "Brdo Brijuni Process" which opened on Wednesday in Zagreb.

The Brdo-Brijuni Process founded in 2013 by the former Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and the current Slovenian President Borut Pahor gathers leaders of the six Western Balkans countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina Montenegro Kosovo Macedonia Albania and Serbia.

Biden is the highest ranking US official to visit Croatia since Barrack Obama became President.

European Council President Donald Tusk and Austrian President Heinz Fisher are also attending the summit which will be discussing primary security issues in the region ranging from the refugee crisis to terrorism threats and religious radicalism.

Igor Tabak an analyst for the Croatian defence and security website Obris told BIRN that the Biden visit shows that the US has “a continued interest in the region... this isn’t a region in recent years that the US would neglect” he said.

Since the wars of the 1990s the region has “calmed down” he added and the presence of “great powers” was less visible but still present.

“From another point of view... after a number of years Croatia and the countries surrounding it are again the subject of a real international crisis” he continued referring to the mass influx of migrants.

He added that the Brdo-Brijuni Summit provided a useful opportunity for US to see what was happening in the region and seek answers to pressing issues.

The format of the summit also allows the countries involved in it to form a shared regional approach.

Tabak noted that since some countries in the region are already in NATO such as Slovenia Croatia and Albania while the US has a strong presence in others such as Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina the US can “allow itself... to be both an active observer and even a mediator”.

In the past week Croatia Slovenia Serbia and Macedonia have all announced new restrictions to allow only what they call war-zone refugees from Syria Iraq and Afghanistan to move through their countries. The limits have led to days of migrant protests and calls for the Balkan countries to reverse the new policy.

The summit is also expected to discuss events in Ukraine as well as the Middle East.

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