In addition to military presence, Croatia provides various forms of assistance to Afghanistan.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai signed on Saturday an agreement on comprehensive cooperation, reports HRT on July 10, 2016.
“This is just one step towards the overall solution for causes of migration. There are hundreds of thousands of people leaving Afghanistan, due to economic and security reasons, inequality, religious intolerance, terrorism”, said the President after the signing.
The agreement provides for the establishment of joint committees that will be led by foreign affairs ministries of the two countries. They agreed a specific plan of cooperation in the framework of developmental assistance, according to which Croatia will assist Afghanistan in the field of education, especially the education of girls and women and economic empowerment, with an emphasis on children living on the streets. Croatia will also provide help in the areas of health, infrastructure, and will continue to cooperate in the sector of defense and security issues, primarily through mentoring.
On the second day of the NATO summit in Warsaw, the President warned that reducing the presence of NATO forces in Afghanistan could create a security vacuum that would benefit the Taliban and other terrorist groups. “After more than a decade of cooperation, patient and dedicated work with our friends from Afghanistan, we have a positive influence on the stability of Afghanistan and the security of the nation”, she said. Permanent solution for the future of Afghanistan should support the process of reconciliation that is being led by Afghanistan.
She pointed out her own visits to Afghanistan in the past year and a half, where she experienced first-hand the significant contribution of the international community to improving the living conditions of the people of the country. The President recalled that Croatia had been present in Afghanistan since 2003. Almost 4,500 Croatian soldiers, diplomats and military police officers took part in missions led by NATO in Afghanistan, added the President.