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Prime Minister meets commander of NATO's European forces

ZAGREB, Oct 14 (Hina) - Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader on Tuesday met John Craddock, the chief commander of NATO European forces, who was on a two-day visit to Croatia.

General Craddock congratulated Sanader on the successfully implemented reforms in the defence sector and thanked Croatia for its contribution to global peace and security, saying that it served as a model and factor of stability in Southeast Europe.

Craddock said he expected Croatia to take part, as a NATO member, in a summit meeting marking the alliance's 60th anniversary on 3 and 4 April 2009 on the French-German border, in Strasbourg and Kehl.

Sanader said that Croatia would be a reliable ally and continue contributing to international peace and security.

The PM said that Croatian citizens supported Croatia's admission to NATO, as indicated by relevant surveys.

Sanader thanked General Craddock for the good cooperation of the Strategic Command (SHAPE) and NATO experts with the Croatian Defence Ministry and the Croatian Armed Forces Main Staff and for assistance in the process of implementation of the Membership Action Plan (MAP).

The Croatian PM said that his country fully supported the aspirations of Southeast European countries to join Euro-Atlantic associations. Sanader spoke about the situation in Southeast Europe, notably Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that Croatia supported the integrity of Bosnia as a sovereign country of three constituent peoples - the Croats, Bosniaks and Serbs.

Bosnia's stability depends on respect for the principle of equality of its three peoples, Sanader said and Craddock concurred.