“I am certain that cooperation and partnership with the United States will become stronger and tighter in the future, thanks to what we achieved during this official visit,” Banožić said.
On Thursday, October 19, 2023, the last day of his official visit to the United States, Defense Minister Mario Banožić met at the US State Department in Washington with Mira Resnick, a representative of the State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
At the meeting, it was emphasized that Croatia has been a strong and reliable partner to the United States. Minister Banožić pointed out that he is certain that cooperation and partnership will become stronger and tighter in the future, thanks to what was achieved during the official visit to the United States.
In the context of the Agreement on the Application of the Leahy Law, which was signed during a visit to the US State Department, Minister Banožić pointed out: “After signing the Framework for Defense Cooperation with Secretary Austin, the Agreement on the Application of the Leahy Rule was also signed with Erica Barclay. This agreement ensures that respect and protection of fundamental human rights are a basic condition for providing US assistance. This also facilitates further cooperation in the field of equipping and modernization of the Croatian Armed Forces through various US programs with the aim of further improving bilateral relations with our most important strategic partner,” Banožić said emphasizing that the United States are Croatia’s most important strategic partner in the field of defense and security.
“It is obvious that the Croatian Armed Forces are recognized as a pillar of stability in Southeast Europe and that the United States rely to a large extent on the capabilities of the CAF when it comes to preserving peace in this part of Europe,” Minister Banožić said.
At the end of his official visit to the United States, Defense Minister concluded that new significant investment and equipment projects are ahead of the Croatian Armed Forces, and that from the time of the Homeland War until today, Croatia and the Croatian Armed Forces as an inseparable part of our national identity have earned an international reputation and respect. “In this context, we are continuing the positive growth trend of the defense budget. This is also evident from the fact that the 2024 budget has been increased by more than 60 million euros in comparison with 2023. In this way, we have enabled further work on the development of the capabilities required to deal with conventional and non-conventional threats,” Banožić said.
“Everything we do, we do for the peace and security of generations to come. We are proud of everything we achieved as a country in the last 30 years and we feel deep gratitude to the Croatian war veterans, whose vision was not only a free and independent state of Croatia, but a modern and powerful military force – the Croatian Armed Forces,” he said.