NATO Secretary General praises Croatia’s contribution
Croatia makes a valuable contribution to NATO, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after meeting the country’s leaders in Dubrovnik on Saturday 12 October. “Croatia plays a valuable role in our operations. Croatia plays a valuable role in our debates. And Croatia plays a valuable role in building cooperation and dialogue in the Western Balkans region,” the Secretary General said after meeting Speaker of Parliament Josip Leko.
Croatia contributes forces to the NATO-led missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, and works with members of the Alliance to develop military capabilities in fields such as logistics and helicopter training.
Croatia also plays a significant role in forging cooperation between the states of the Adriatic and the Western Balkans, including those countries which aspire to join the Euro-Atlantic family.
“Euro-Atlantic integration is the way ahead. I'm convinced that Croatia can play an important role in helping others in the region move forward with the necessary reforms. NATO's door remains open. But aspirant countries need to make the required efforts and the necessary reforms to walk through that door,” the Secretary General said after meeting First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusic.
In his meetings, the Secretary General discussed progress on NATO’s operations, developments in the Western Balkans and the preparations for the Alliance’s forthcoming summit, to be held in the United Kingdom in 2014.
The summit “will shape the NATO of the future: an Alliance which is equipped to deal with the full range of modern threats, and engaged with partners who share our commitment to security. An Alliance based on our most vital principles: peace, freedom, and the bond of trust and cooperation which unites the two shores of the Atlantic Ocean,” the Secretary General said in a press conference with President Ivo Josipovic.
“I look forward to Croatia’s support as we prepare for that summit,” he said.