Minister Bozinovic met NATO Secretary General Rasmussen
Defence Minister Davor Bozinovic visited on Tuesday, 18 January 2011, NATO Headquarters in Brussels where he met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Defence Minister Bozinovic and NATO Secretary General Rasmussen discussed the reform processes in NATO and the Croatian defence system, the situation in the region and the Croatian participation in international peacekeeping missions, with emphasis on the ISAF mission in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo. They also discussed Alliance's efforts regarding the war veterans.
The Minister expressed Croatia's support for reform processes in NATO, which objective was to improve the functioning of the Alliance. The result of these reforms should be modern, streamlined and strengthened Alliance, able to respond to new security threats. In this sense, the Minister also introduced the Secretary General with the processes regarding the adoption of Croatian National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence Review, which will take into account the aforementioned reforms.
Regarding the situation in the region, Minister Bozinovic expressed Croatia's support for NATO's open door policy. Croatia considers that the continuation of the Euro-Atlantic integration was the best framework for sustainable stability in the region, Minister Bozinovic said. He stressed that NATO's contribution to stability and security in the region was inevitable and that it was best reflected in missions such as KFOR in Kosovo.
Minister Bozinovic stressed the Croatia's commitment for Alliance's efforts in Afghanistan in the implementation process of transition of responsibility for security issues to Afghanistan institutions. In this sense, Croatia is making further efforts through the engagement in critical missing training capabilities. In this context, Croatia is making significant efforts in the US-Adriatic Charter, through the initiative of forming joint training teams.
Minister Bozinovic briefed NATO Secretary General on the Croatia's EU accession process. In this sense, the minister also stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and synergies between the EU and NATO in the area of operations and development of military capabilities. Minister Bozinovic, following the conclusions of the Lisbon Summit, pledged to further strengthen the initiatives on exchange of expertise and experience in NATO in terms of war veterans and expressed Croatia's readiness for a concrete contribution in this area.
NATO Secretary General praised Croatia's involvement in operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan and the efforts being made through the contribution of key capabilities. He stressed the important role of Croatia as NATO member in the region and praised the Croatian efforts to promote regional cooperation and stability.
Minister Bozinovic earlier met Chief Executive Secretary of the EU European External Action Service Pierre Vimont.