Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic met with his Afghan counterpart Haji Asadullah Khalid in Kabul on Thursday, discussing the security and political situation in Afghanistan, Croatia's contribution to peace efforts and opportunities for the Croatian defence industry, the Defence Ministry said in a press release.
Khalid thanked Croatia for its assistance, notably "brave Croatian soldiers for everything they are doing for us, for advising and mentoring our forces. The Afghan people will never forget the courage of Croatian soldiers."
He extended his condolences to the family of Croatian soldier Josip Briski, who had been killed in a Taliban attack in July, and wished a speedy recovery to two other Croatian soldiers who had been wounded in the same incident.
Krsticevic said that Croatia had been present in Afghanistan for 16 years, with more than 6,000 Croatian personnel having served in that country. "Together with the other allies and partners, we are contributing to peace and security in Afghanistan. We are mentoring Afghan security forces and are full of understanding for the people of Afghanistan, respecting their culture and customs. We have helped Afghan security forces to be better."
Khalid said that the security situation in the country was slowly improving and that he expected further negotiations.
"I hope time will soon come for (Afghan forces) to take responsibility for security and peace in Afghanistan," Krsticevic added.
Khalid showed an interest in the Croatian defence industry and the possibility of Afghan forces being equipped with Croatian products. Further talks on future cooperation were agreed.