US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, who was received by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic in Zagreb on Thursday evening, said Croatia is a proven ally of the United States, and pledged Washington's assistance for the modernisation of the Croatian armed forces.
Mattis said the relations between his country and Croatia are excellent and friendly, and commended Croatian leadership for having decided to obtain new military equipment, the Croatian government said in a press release.
He was quoted as saying that he was glad to be again in a country that is a proven American ally with respectable armed forces.
Mattis had arrived in Zagreb from Brussels, where he attended a NATO summit meeting.
The Croatian capital will on Friday host a ministerial meeting of the US-Adriatic Charter, an association formed by Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, and the United States, for the purpose of aiding their efforts to join NATO.
The Charter was signed in May 2003 in Tirana. In 2008, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro joined the association.
Meanwhile, Croatia and Albania had become full members of NATO in April 2009, and Montenegro was admitted in June 2017.