Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac on Wednesday signed a book of condolences opened in the Belgian Embassy in Zagreb for victims of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels when at least 31 people were killed and 260 injured.
"On behalf of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and on my own behalf, I express my condolences to the Belgian Federal Public Service of Foreign Affairs, particularly Belgian diplomats to Croatia, following the heinous terrorist attacks in Brussels that took so many lives. Our thoughts are with the Belgian people In these difficult moments. We pray for all those who lost their lives and empathise with their loved ones," Kovac wrote in his message.
President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's chief-of-staff signed the book of condolences on behalf of Croatian citizens, the president and on his own behalf.
"We most strongly condemn the insane terrorist atrocities in Brussels that took so many human lives and we stand resolute in the fight against global terrorism and dedicated to building world peace, security and stability," the message reads.
In a statement to the press after signing the book of condolences, Minister Kovac once again extended his condolences to the Belgian people, government and the Belgian ambassador to Croatia. He said that the ministry had decided that Thursday would a be a day of mourning in Croatia.
"That way we show that we sympathise with the Belgian people, the Belgian state and show our solidarity, because the attacks in Brussels, the attacks against Belgium are not just an attack against the Belgian people but are also an attack against us, at the heart of Europe, where European Union institutions are located," the minister said.
Kovac said that the currently situation in Croatia is stable.
He added that following the Brussels attacks, the European Union would in future have to be better coordinated in the fight against terrorism. "We all in Europe will have to see how we can better coordinate our resources on the security policy plan, because we will need a lot more common policies in the defence against terrorism," the minister said.
Belgian Ambassador to Croatia Philippe Benoit thanked the Croatian people and authorities for their solidarity and strong support.
I would first like to thank the Croatian people and authorities for their solidarity, expressions of condolences and strong support, Ambassador Benoit said.
These terrible attacks are not just an attack on Brussels and Belgium but on Europe, our democracy and values, he added.
We are at war with terrorism. We will win this battle too because we must, he stressed.
The book of condolences in the Belgian Embassy will be open to the public on Friday March 25 from 10 am to 12 pm. Citizens can also express their condolences online.