Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, NATO.jpg
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic speaks during the panel 'Preserving peace: NATO's role' in Warsaw, Poland, 08 July 2016.
Photograph: HINA/ Ured predsjednice/ Tomislav Bušljeta/ ua

NATO is very well adapting to new security conditions and is not an outdated instrument but has shown its importance by being flexible, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Saturday, describing the two-day alliance summit that has just ended in Warsaw as very successful.

"I would say that this has been a very successful summit. As a person who participated in the organisation of the two previous summits, in Chicago and Wales, I must say that I am pleasantly surprised by the level of agreement and understanding that has been reached," Grabar-Kitarovic said.

She was leading the Croatian delegation that also included Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac and Defence Minister Josip Buljevic.

"The summit has shown that NATO is very well adapting to new security conditions, that it is not an outdated instrument, but that the Alliance is showing its relevance through its flexibility," the Croatian president said.

NATO's leaders are agreed that collective defence, the defence of the territories, people and borders, remains its fundamental task and value. They have agreed to strengthen their defence capabilities and have agreed on a framework of action towards the East and a position on the necessity of dialogue with Russia regardless of differences. NATO insists on respect for the principles of international law, the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Ukraine or any other state. An agreement has also been reached to deal with issues on the southern borders, the issue of migrations, in a humane way and to deal with the human smuggling industry in the Mediterranean, she said.

Grabar-Kitarovic said that during the summit she had had a number of bilateral meetings. "Talks during dinner last night were very constructive. We discussed a lot of issues," she said.

Grabar-Kitarovic said she had raised the issues of Croatia's neighbours, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership of the Membership Action Plan, the issue of Macedonia's name, and the need for NATO and the EU to focus as much as possible on this region which is stabilising.

"However, some of the processes are fragile and the stability can be undermined if we do not keep a watchful eye on these processes and if we do not limit the influence of countries that want to divide our region into spheres of interest," she warned.

Grabar-Kitarovic stressed that the future of the region, "for countries which so wish, and these are almost all the countries, and possibly all the countries in the future, definitely lies in the EU and NATO."

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