hrvatski sabor.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Denis CERIĆ / mm

The seventh anniversary of Croatia's accession to NATO was marked on Thursday by a commemorative event organised in the national parliament at which speakers spoke about unconventional threats faced by today's world to which the alliance should seek suitable and efficient responses.

The head of the Croatian parliamentary delegation to NATO's Parliamentary Assembly, Damir Krsticevic, said in his key-note speech that the contemporary world was a global village in which nobody could survive without support and interaction with others.

Krsticevic also noted that the world was faced with threats of global terrorism, economic crisis, illegal migration, climate change, cyber terrorism and a series of unconventional threats.

Each responsible country as well as NATO are seeking appropriate and efficient responses to them, the Croatian MP said.

Defence Minister Josip Buljevic, who attended the event as the Prime Minister's envoy, said that no country was an isolated island.

Buljevic added that Croatia was giving a significant contribution to world peace through its engagement in peace operations run by the UN, the European Union or NATO.

"Being a responsible NATO member, Croatia will continue contributing to world peace and security," the minister stressed.

He underscored that in the past seven years Croatia had made huge progress and conducted a set of reforms as well as transformed its armed forces.

Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner said that Croatia was at a crossroads of global challenges and had to do everything possible, in cooperation with its partners in NATO, to protect its citizens.

"Terrorism knows no borders and cannot be defeated by traditional methods of defence," Reiner said.

David Hobbs, NATO General Assembly Secretary-General, pointed out challenges the alliance was facing in the 21st century, mentioning in that context the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation.

Hobbs called for reinforcing the defence of NATO's eastern members and spoke about hotspots in the Middle East and in east Africa.

He expressed satisfaction with the fact that Montenegro would soon join NATO.

Croatia and Albania completed the process of accession to NATO on 1 April 2009.

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