“Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the President Pro Tempore of the United States, traveled to Croatia this week for his last official overseas visit as a US Senator. The Senator’s visit coincides with three milestones: the centennial of Armistice Day, the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Accords, and the 70th anniversary of the birth of Krešimir Cosic.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic invited Senator Hatch to Croatia to receive the ‘Order of Prince Branimir’ ribbon for his ‘for his contributions to the independence of the Republic of Croatia and relations between the Croatian and American people,’ one of the highest honors the nation of Croatia can bestow. ”

The Senator’s involvement with Croatia over the years:

  • S. Res. 246, which he introduced with Senators Dole and Lieberman in January 1992. The resolution called on the United States to recognize Croatia’s independence.
  • S. 21, The Bosnia and Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of 1995 which was introduced in January 1995 and which called for an end to the arms embargo against Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Senate passed this legislation in August 1995. Afterwards, President Clinton initiated the “Lift and Strike” policy, and the Dayton Accords were signed several months later.
  • In 1996, Senator Hatch visited Croatia, along with Senators Reid and Daschle, on a nine-day congressional delegation visit to survey the implementation of the Dayton Accords.

Senator Hatch also held productive meetings with Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and Speaker of the Parliament Gordan Jandrokovic, where they discussed ways of strengthening the US-Croatia bilateral relationship and advancing common political, military, commercial, and cultural priorities.” (Office of Senator Orrin Hatch)