ZAGREB, July 4, 2018 – During his official visit to Israel, Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević met his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman in Tel Aviv on Tuesday and on that occasion Krstičević said that the two countries were strengthening their strategic partnership, and their long-term political and economic cooperation would pave the way for new investments that would impact the development of Croatia’s defence industry and entire economy.
Krstičević met also President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, according to a press release issued by the Croatian ministry.
The Lieberman- Krstičević meeting in Tel Aviv was the first time for the two defence ministers to meet for talks since the Croatian government decided to buy F-16 Barak multi-purpose fighter jets from Israel. The two ministers talked about strategic cooperation, further developments in the procurement of the fighter jets, expanding defence cooperation with emphasis on cybernetic security, training and education.
They considered possible cooperation between the two countries’ navies, infantry and special forces as well as further networking between the defence industries and prospects of economic cooperation in other areas, the ministry said in the press release. “Two years ago, when Israel needed help we deployed our fire-fighting squadron and since then this is our fourth meeting. We are strengthening a strategic partnership between Israel and Croatia,” Minister Krstičević said after the meeting. “We discussed advancing military cooperation… We need Israel’s experience in the cyber area,” he underscored.
Minister Liberman thanked Krstičević for his visit to Israel. Your visit to Israel is a sign of our friendship and our cooperation. We have discussed current and future cooperation and I hope that we will continue realising our joint plans, Lieberman said and congratulated Croatia’s football team for their success in the World Cup.
Krstičević then met with President Rivlin for the talks on global security challenges with emphasis on the security situation in Southeast Europe and the Middle East. President Rivlin is expected to visit Croatia soon and discussed plans for that visit.
During his official visit, Krstičević visited Yad Vashem – The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem where he laid a wreath and paid respects to the victims of the holocaust.
“In this solemn place that testifies to the tragic sacrifice and deep suffering, I wish to express sympathy to the entire Jewish nation. I wish to express condolences to the families of those killed and send them a message of encouragement because a friendly nation like mine will never allow this tragedy to be forgotten. I am proud that I have had the opportunity to personally contribute to strengthening friendship between the Jews and the Croatians, that is, Croatia and Israel, and I am convinced that we are facing a long period of coming closer and building very close, brotherly relations,” Krstičević wrote in Yad Vashem’s Book of Remembrance.