Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic and his Portuguese counterpart Joao Gomes Cravinho on Wednesday signed an agreement in Lisbon regarding cooperation in the area of defence, including cooperation between fire-fighting squadrons, the Croatian Defence Ministry reported in a press release.
In addition to cooperation between fire-fighting squadrons, the two ministers also agreed cooperation within the framework of EU membership in the areas of homeland security, the navy, military education and the defence industry, the press release said.
Minister Krsticevic informed Cravinho of Croatia's homeland security system and of Croatia's strategy in fighting wildfires.
"Croatia adopted a National Security Strategy and we set up a homeland security system in an effort to be more efficient in the fight against natural disasters and security challenges. We are prepared to share our experience with Portugal," said Krsticevic, as carried by the press release.
"We have a similar climate and experience in fighting wildfires. In 2013, Croatia assisted Portugal in putting out wildfires. We have excellent fire-fighting squadron pilots and we can be of assistance," added Krsticevic.
The ministers discussed chairmanship of the EU, considering that that task awaits both countries. Croatia will chair the EU in the first half of 2020 while Portugal will chair it in the first half of 2021.
Minister Krsticevic informed Cravinho of Croatia's priorities during its chairmanship, which will focus on continuing with the implementation of existing initiatives such as PESCO, the European defence fund and military mobility, the industrial dimension of defence, further efforts by the EU in southeast Europe, and strengthening cooperation between the EU and NATO, the press release said.