Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and his British counterpart Michael Fallon signed a memorandum of understanding in London on Monday to formalise the two countries’ defence cooperation.
The British government said in a statement that Defence Secretary Fallon commended Croatia’s role in NATO operations and peace missions.
“Croatia is a good partner of the UK with our Armed Forces serving together within NATO in Afghanistan and in Europe. The UK will continue to play a leading role in NATO and I welcome Croatia’s commitment to the high-readiness force that we are heading this year,” he said.
British Ambassador to Croatia Andrew Dalgliesh said the signing of the memorandum put the seal on the two countries’ excellent cooperation in defence matters.
Croatia is an important ally and partner to Great Britain, bilaterally and within NATO, Dalgliesh was cited by the British Embassy in Croatia as saying.
Dalgliesh said that he attended a joint exercise of Croatian and British soldiers at a range in Knin in 2016 and that then he saw a high degree of compatibility and readiness for the exchange of ideas and experience between the two countries’ forces.
He added that Great Britain, as a global power, was strongly committed to NATO which it considered a foundation of Europe’s defence and security and that it highly appreciated Croatia as an ally.
Britain’s military attache in Croatia, Colonel John Kelly, said that the memorandum confirmed the importance and strength of the two countries’ relations.
The joint British-Croatian military exercise “Sava Star” will be held this year again for the fifth consecutive year.
The two countries’ good relations are also evidenced by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s meeting with Minister Fallon during her visit to Great Britain in October 2016.
Croatia’s army participates in NATO’s high-readiness force Great Britain is heading in 2017, and Croatia also has an officer at the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Headquarters./IBNA