BRIJUNI, Croatia (September 26,2008) - A conference dubbed “Strengthening Peace and Stability” started in Croatia today. The conference is attended by armed forces chiefs-of-staff of 11 countries: Albania, Bosnia, Canada, Estonia, Lithuania, Macedonia,Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, the United States and NATO.
The main subjects of the conference are the transformation of the armed forces and the participation in international peace operations.
The Croatian President Mesic said that in entering NATO, Croatia would have to become even more involved both in the stabilisation of its immediate neighbouring countries, as well as in joint efforts of NATO and the EU to stabilise the region of the southeastern Europe. He stressed that Croatia wanted to serve as an example to others by continuing the process of cooperation even after it joins NATO.
"Although wars in the area of the former Yugoslavia ceased in the past decade, the region has still not been stabilised and one of the mechanisms that might facilitate Croatia’s further actions is the American-Adriatic Charter" Mesic said.
He voiced hope that political problems that hindered an invitation to Skopje for the recent NATO summit in Bucharest would soon be overcome and that Macedonia would become a full member of NATO.
"This is also in Croatia’s interest, so Croatia will continue to provide support to Macedonia’s aspirations to join NATO. The A3 group (Bosnia,Croatia and Macedonia) still needs the initiative whose development needs to be continued," Mesic said.
Speaking about the significance of the American-Adriatic Charter, the Croatian president said it had provided results in boosting regional cooperation in the field of security and defence.