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Minister Krstičević meets with the U.S. Secretary of Defense

Foto: Department of Defence
Foto: Department of Defence

During his official visit to the United States the Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Damir Krstičević met with the US Secretary of Defense James Mattis in the Department of Defense on 12 July  2017. The two sides affirmed the excellent co-operation between the Republic of Croatia and the United States as strategic allies and partners, especially in the domains of defence and security.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis underlined that although small in size Croatia had provided a huge contribution to the international security and had been a model NATO ally.

Secretary Mattis stated that he had followed closely the Operation “Storm“, in which the Croatian Minister had an important part and which is studied in the U.S. military to as an example of a “well-led force, well trained, well equipped, and with good political guidance“ changing the course of history.

Minister Mattis also pledged the support to Croatia with in the procurement of the new fighter aircraft as a critical capability.
The two ministers addressed the joint participation of the Croatian Armed Forces and the U. S. Army in NATO-led missions and operations worldwide, and US Minister Mattis expressed the pride of the U.S: side over joint serving in the operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
 "I wish to express the gratitude to the United States for the support provided to Croatia since its fight for independence to date. The United States is Croatia's most important strategic, and the two  countries, as NATO members, have invested major efforts towards the global peace and security", stated Minister Krstičević. 
"We have been together in Afghanistan  since 2003 and in Kosovo since 2008, and we shall be together  in NATO's enhanced Forward Presence. I am proud that Croatia is one of the few NATO nations to take part in two battlegroups: the one led by Germany in Lithuania and the other in Poland, led by the U.S, which demonstrates our contribution to NATO, and our strong international responsibility,"said Minister Krstičević.
Minister Krstičević and Secretary Mattis also discussed the jointly conducted activities in NATO, the  joint contribution to the international security in crisis spots as well as the counterterrorist techniques,  the security and political situation in the Croatian neighbourhood and in southeast Europe, the United States's continuing support to the development of Croatia's defence capabilities, and the future bilateral defence co-operation.

Minister Krstičević and Secretary Mattis praised the meeting as very productive and the agreed co-operation modes in defence and security and affirmed the excellent co-operation of the two countries as strategic allies and partners in the domains of defence and security, sharing the same values and the responsibility for the global security, including the engagement in the Coalition against terrorism.

During the visit to the US Minister Krstičević visited the National Cemetery Arlington in Washington and paid tribute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Minister Krstičević is also meeting with the Deputy Director of the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) Greg Kausner and the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) General Vincent Stewart, and also with the Croats living in the United States.

Foto: Department of Defence, U.S. Army, Arlington National Cemetery, MORH 

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