Asia and Europe need trust and stability to continue to prosper and grow, said Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic who, at the invitation of Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, is taking part in the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Ulaanbaatar.
Speaking at the ASEM plenary session dedicated to the promotion of partnership between Europe and Asia, Grabar-Kitarovic focused on partnership, underscoring the possibilities of the Adriatic-Ionian-Black Sea Initiative, the Office of the Croatian President said in a statement.
She said Croatia accepted the vision stated in the Declaration from Ulaanbaatar which provides a platform for re-strengthening of the existing cooperation and opening new chapters in relations between Europe and Asia. Grabar-Kitarovic said Croatia supported all activities bringing the two continents closer and enabling sustainable development and economic prosperity. We have to open our doors and connect people so that trade, investments, energy, knowledge and exchange of information could be successful, the president said.
Speaking about the European Union and its role in developing partnership between the two continents, Grabar-Kitarovic underlined the importance of dialogue between EU member states and Asia through ASEM and other platforms.
"Asia and Europe need trust and stability to continue to prosper and grow. We are aware that this poses certain challenges to all of us," Grabar-Kitarovic said expressing confidence that trust can be built on strong partnership.
"I would like to mention the initiative connecting the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea which I advocate together with my Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda," Grabar Kitarovic said stressing that the initiative was an informal platform aimed at strengthening the overall political, economic, infrastructural and security cooperation in central Europe. She explained that by expanding the existing cooperation the central Europe would become safer and more competitive.
Grabar-Kitarovic said the Adriatic-Baltic-Black Sea initiative was supplementary to the Chinese One Belt, One Road Initiative, notably in the context of connecting Asia with Europe. One Belt, One Road Initiative is a development strategy and framework, proposed by Chinese paramount leader Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between the People's Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and oceangoing "Maritime Silk Road".
On the margins of the 11th ASEM meeting, Grabar-Kitarovic held bilateral meetings with the President of Myanmar, Htin Kyaw, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Ammann.