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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic met in Washington in mid-December to discuss present and future cooperation between the 2 countries and to reaffirm their friendship.
Since Croatia gained its independence, the U.S. has worked in partnership to help overcome the legacies of communism, war and ethnic division while fostering a democratic, secure and market-oriented society, and so helping to meet requirements for Croatia's membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Croatia's hard work and tough-minded reforms helped the country gain entry into a number of international institutions, including the United Nations, World Trade Organization and, most recently, NATO.
"As Croatia has strengthened its democracy, our countries have worked together in close partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interests. Now we are bound together in the greatest and most successful military alliance in history," said Secretary of State Clinton:
"Croatia’s success offers a model for the region on what can be accomplished when a nation commits to reform and progress."
Secretary of State Clinton praised Croatia's international involvement, notably its work in helping to train Afghan forces, "thus helping to speed the day when the Afghans themselves can take responsibility for their own security." She then stressed the importance of Croatia's regional leadership in helping to support the NATO aspirations of its Balkan neighbors.
"We are committed to the full integration of all of the Western Balkan nations into European and Trans-Atlantic institutions," said Secretary of State Clinton. "I am confident that by working together, as well as through NATO and other multilateral institutions, the United States and Croatia can ensure an even brighter future for our people, a more stable and peaceful Europe, and indeed a better and safer world."