United States President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday sent Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic letters of congratulation on the occasion of Croatia's Statehood Day, which is observed on June 25, Grabar-Kitarovic's office said in a press release.
The US appreciates the strong cooperation with Croatia in Europe and globally, Obama said in his note, adding that Croatia was an example in the region of how hard work and reforms could lead to Euro-Atlantic integration.
The United States is proud to be Croatia's ally, partner and friend, he said, congratulating all Croats on Statehood Day.
In his note, Putin underlined his interest in the development of constructive and mutually useful Russian-Croatian relations. That is in the interest of the peoples of our states and is directed at strengthening stability and security in Europe, he said.
I pray God to support the efforts made for the common good so that every citizen of your country, notably if weak and helpless, can find happiness and peace, the Pope wrote Grabar-Kitarovic, stressing that he invoked God's blessing on the entire Croatian people.
In his congratulatory note, the UN secretary-general said Statehood Day was an opportunity to celebrate Croatia's proud history and to reaffirm universal values, human rights, development and peace.
The United Nations is lucky to be able to draw strength from its diverse membership, bringing together diverse cultural traditions in working for the common cause, and Croatia's contributions are essential for achieving our common goals, Ban said.
Congratulations were also sent by the emperor of Japan, the kings of Sweden, the Netherlands and Morocco, and the presidents of Germany, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Sweden, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland and Turkmenistan.