PM says Croatia involved in NATO's preparations for new age
NATO is preparing for a new time and Croatia is participating in that process, Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said in Chicago on Monday, where he was attending a two-day NATO summit.
"There are no more classic threats. By joining NATO, Croatia has solved the issue of its national security in the literal, physical sense, and in order to be as safe as possible, we have to be more successful and richer. Because those who have nothing are the least safe," Milanovic told Croatian reporters.
He would not say if he met with US President Barack Obama, saying: "I spent an hour with the US and other presidents of NATO member countries. We talked, but it would be indiscreet of me to talk about it. In every contact, including at the NATO summit, I use the opportunity to promote Croatia."
Milanovic said that as a former diplomat in Brussels, he was especially tied to NATO, adding that Croatia advocated the open door policy and that it would be willing to help the countries in its region draw closer to NATO.
Speaking after the summit, he said it was an important event for Croatia. "We took part in decision-making, in thinking about what will happen with Afghanistan after 2014 and it turned out once again that it's good to be in this company, because this company, by all accounts, is the best in the world."
Milanovic said the final day of the NATO summit focused on Afghanistan. "We talked about modalities of withdrawing from Afghanistan and continuing to help."
After NATO completes its mission in that country in 2014, some kind of presence will remain there, he said. "Croatia will also make a certain contribution. Not with people, of course, and financially much less than now. After 2014... I think with half a million dollars, Croatia will finance the reform of the Afghan armed and security forces."
"The contribution will be at a much smaller scale than now. We have been there nearly ten years and (fortunately) there have been no victims," Milanovic said.
He was heading a Croatian delegation at NATO's biggest summit ever which focused on the future of Afghanistan. The delegation included Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic.