Croatia marks 8th Anniversary of NATO membership
The eighth anniversary of the membership of the Republic of Croatia in NATO was marked in the Croatian Parliament on 4 April 2017, in attendance of the Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević and the Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov.
The Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Božo Petrov said in his address that the accession confirmed the Republic of Croatia, having won the Homeland War, had the strength to engage in goodneighbourly relations and co-operation. “Croatia advocates enlargement for all countries who envisage their future in the guildelines stated in NATO's Open Door Policy. Global threats and security risks can only be dealt with through jointly enhanced alliance of the EU and NATO“, said the Speaker .
The anniversary marking ceremony was attended by the President of NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Hon. Paolo Alli, who in his address stressed the importance of stability in the current highly complex defence environment . “We have to act united to withstand the threats. Security has become a global issue, and no country can act on its own. ..NATO's enlargements have promoted stability“.
Minister Krstičević in his address stated that the Republic of Croatia over the past eight years of NATO membership has proved to be a credible ally and an equal partner to other member nations. “Through NATO membership we have contributed at once to the national security and to the security of our allies and enhanced our position in the international community…The membership has promoted the security of our country, which was the main precondition of the social and economic development“.
The Minister also underlined that joining NATO was not about following a trend but a proof of the political maturity and international affirmation of Croatia.
“Croatia assumed respoinsibility within the Euro-Atlantic security and defence framework in full awareness that security and stability of the international community cannot be achieved individually but as a collaborative effort…From the early days of our membership we have responsibly built the capabilities guaranteeing the security and stability of Croatia and contributing to the allied efforts towards the collective security..Croatia has provided significant contribution to the world peace by participating in the UN-, the EU- and NATO-led peace operations“, said Minister Krstičević.
The Chief of the General Staff of the Croatian Armed Forces, General Mirko Šundov stated that Croatia's entry to NATO on 1 April 2009 as full member and joining the political, security and economic association of the member countries was a momentous moment in its history. General Šundov emphasised NATO's ollective defence system as crucial, providing additional safety for Croatia. The Croatian Armed Forces have shared their experiences from the accession with the partner countries of southeast Europe to facilitate their own efforts towards Euro-Atlantic integration through education and training, joint engagement in peace support operations and assisting them with the processes of re-organisation and reforms of their defence systems. "The Croatian Armed Forces have been developed as modern, well-equipped and trained force, interoperable with the allied and partner forces and capable of deterring potential threats tp the security and sovereignty of Croatia, and of supporting the international peace and security building efforts and to the civilian institutions“.
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