Croatian Republic Day was celebrated in Baku on May 30.
The event, initiated by the Croatian Embassy in Azerbaijan, was attended by embassy representatives and government officials from different countries.
Opening the event, Croatian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Branko Zebic noted that today is the day when the first modern multi-party Croatian parliament convened after the 1990 parliamentary elections: “32 years ago today, Croatian citizens began an independent journey and paved the way for a new, independent, democratic, modern European state. Thus, the Republic of Croatia, which is internationally recognized and became a member of the UN in 1992, joined NATO in 2009 and the EU in 2013. At present, Croatia is about to complete the process of European integration, expecting to enter the European zone from the first day of next year and the Schengen zone that year.
The ambassador noted that bilateral relations between Croatia and Azerbaijan are strengthening day by day: “Bilateral relations are regularly directed and formed at high-level meetings, including meetings between our presidents. This follows from the Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed in 2013.
Our strategic partnership and friendship are also reflected in the humanitarian sphere. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, Azerbaijan helped Croatia, where the virus was not detected in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan also helped us deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in Croatia two years ago.
Taking this opportunity, I once again express my sincere gratitude to the government and people of Azerbaijan for this valuable support. We opened the embassy in Baku three years ago. Since then, bilateral relations between Croatia and Azerbaijan have been developing. Two official visits of the Croatian Foreign Minister to Baku, the second meeting of the intergovernmental commission during that period – political consultations between the foreign ministries, a number of cultural and other projects have been implemented over the past two years. Economic and trade cooperation is improving. I would like to emphasize that Croatia is one of the main trade partners of Azerbaijan. It is the second largest trading partner among EU member states.
Zebic also thanked those who congratulated them on the special day: “I wish to convey our sincere congratulations to the small Croatian community in Baku. “Azerbaijan takes this opportunity to once again congratulate the citizens of Azerbaijan for celebrating these days – May 28 – Independence Day, and wish them good health, prosperity and peace.”
Later, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov expressed his best wishes for Croatia on behalf of the Azerbaijani government: “On May 30, we celebrate Croatia Day. In 1990, the first modern Croatian parliament was formed and parliamentary elections were held on the same day. In 1991, Croatia was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan. Over the years, our relations with Croatia have developed and reached its highest level of strategic relations. On March 11, 2013, the Zagreb Declaration was signed, which is strategic for the relations between Azerbaijan and Croatia. At the same time, Azerbaijan and Croatia successfully cooperate in international organizations.
During the successful visit of the Croatian Foreign Minister Gordan Grilis-Radma to Azerbaijan last year, it was noted that there are mutual relations and wide opportunities between our countries. According to international principles and rules, Azerbaijan and Croatia have always supported each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. As you know, the Patriotic War resulted in the victory of Azerbaijan. Thus, the lands occupied for 30 years were liberated and new realities emerged in the region. Our country wants peace and stability in the region. ”
After the official speeches, the famous Croatian oboist singer Branko Mihanovic gave a pleasant moment to the guests. Along with national music, she sang the song “Yellow Bride” at the event. His speech was met with great interest.