“The visit to the United States is one of the steps in Croatia’s efforts to leave a powerful, modern and strong Croatian Armed Forces to the generations to come,” says Croatian Defense Minister
On Wednesday, October 18, 2023 as part of his official visit to the United States, Defense Minister Mario Banožić met with Senator Steve Daines and Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Director James Hursch in Washington.
At the meeting with Senator Daines, Minister Banožić discussed bilateral military cooperation, the current situation in Israel and Ukraine, contributions to security within NATO and the European Union, the situation in Southeast Europe, and further plans for modernization of the Croatian Armed Forces and the development of their capabilities. In this context, they discussed the project of equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with Black Hawk helicopters, Bradley fighting vehicles and the acquisition of Javelin anti-armor weapons.
Regarding the current security situation in the world, Minister Banožić pointed out: “Today the security situation is further complicated and is affecting the security conditions of many European societies, so it is obvious that the unity of allies and a strong transatlantic connection remain the best means to deter potential terrorist threats and to prevent instabilities”.
“In the context of the current global security situation, it should be pointed out that the historic modernization and equipping projects of the Croatian Armed Forces are taking place at a time when it is extremely important to preserve peace and stability in the region. Therefore, the visit to the U.S. Senate is a great opportunity to strengthen bilateral cooperation with our most important strategic partner in the field of defense, which has been providing support to Croatia since its independence,” Minister Banožić said.
Banožić: “I was glad to hear from Director Hursch that the Croatian Armed Forces have grown into a respectable military force”
Defense and Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Director James Hursch and Minister Banožić discussed the defense cooperation between Croatia and the United States, the global security situation and the equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with modern, Western systems and technologies.
“The visit to the United States is one of the steps in Croatia’s efforts to leave a powerful, modern and strong Croatian Armed Forces to the generations to come,” Minister Banožić said. He added that Croatia’s Government headed by Mr Andrej Plenković, has taken a clear position that Croatia needs a modern air force, a powerful army and a strong navy.
“I was glad to hear from Director Hursch that the Croatian Armed Forces have grown into a respectable military force and that they have the full support of the United States in further modernization and equipping processes. The Croatian Armed Forces remain a strong guarantor of peace and security within and outside Croatia’s borders. I am very glad that the United States will continue to assist in further strengthening Croatia’s defense capabilities through the introduction of Western military platforms,” he said.
DSCA Director Hursch praised the Croatian Armed Forces and expressed his commitment and support to further modernization of the Croatian Armed Forces: “We appreciate Croatia as a leader in the region and its assistance to Ukraine. We also greatly appreciate that Croatia is one of the first countries to express and provide support to Ukraine facing Russian aggression”.
As part of his official visit to the United States, Minister Banožić together with a delegation of the Croatian Ministry of Defense and the Croatian Armed Forces visited the Arlington National Cemetery where they paid their respects and laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Hero.