The statement was also signed by U.S. European Command (EUCOM) Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Michael L. Howard.
The conference, held in Podstrana outside Split, was organised by Croatia’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Admiral Robert Hranj.
Apart from Croatian participants, also participating in the conference were the chiefs of staff of the US-Adriatic Charter countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and the United States, representatives of the observer countries Kosovo and Slovenia, and the commanders of the national guards of the partner US federal states, the Defence Ministry said in a press release.
“Since its establishment, the Charter has confirmed to be an important mechanism to strengthen regional cooperation and to assist countries in Southeast Europe on their journey to Euro-Atlantic, political, economic, security and defence institutions,” the statement notes.
The A5 Charter is a regional security-defence initiative that was established in 2003 in an effort to assist member countries in accessing Euro-Atlantic associations.
“The point of the joint statement is that the US-Adriatic Charter is directed towards cooperation between countries in the region and our joint priority is to be secure,” Admiral Hranj said.
“It is important that the United States is helping us through various mechanisms and one of those is cooperation with EUCOM,” underscored Hranj, adding that that includes cooperation with the National Guard given that each of the A5 members has a partner in one of the US National Guards.
Croatia is the current chair of the US-Adriatic Charter and next year Montenegro will take over presidency of the initiative.
Montenegro’s representatives informed us of their plans regarding US-Adriatic Charter presidency and I believe that Montenegro will successfully conduct its chairmanship, said Hranj.
Two large military exercises are planned for 2023 and the idea is to have all A5 member states participate with the assistance of U.S. forces, concluded Hranj.
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