Zagreb - The 25th anniversary of the international recognition of the Republic of Croatia was celebrated on Monday at the Croatian parliament solemn session which was attended by the highest Croatian state officials, numerous dignitaries of political, religious and academic life and by the European Council President Donald Tusk.
Addressing the ceremony, Parliament Speaker Božo Petrov recalled that Croatia gained its international recognition during the Homeland war when one third of the country was occupied. - It was only six years later that we liberated the entire territory within our internationally recognized borders, after the military and police operations of the Croatian Army and after the peaceful reintegration of the eastern part of our country, Petrov said.
- Today, he stressed, we must prove ourselves worthy of thus acquired freedom and recognition, choosing the right solutions appropriate for the vision of Croatia’s future. - Perhaps the goal of significantly faster economic growth is still far from being achieved, but the nineties are always a reminder that nothing is impossible when we decide to work together for a common goal, Speaker added.
- In my capacity as the parliament speaker, I will strive for making our children proud of us, just as we are proud of those who created Croatia. - Let us give our best to deserve our children’s appreciation, similar to the one we have for the heroes of the nineties and let us seize fully the opportunities those heroes created for us, concluded Petrov.
- Croatia is a free and sovereign democracy that makes a considerable contribution to efforts to build peace and stability and to honor international rights, and our permanent duty is to promote the truth about the (1991-1995) Homeland Defence War, pay tribute to those who sacrificed themselves for the country and to all Croatians who gave their contribution to the foundations of the free and independent Croatia, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said at the parliament's solemn session.
European Council President Donald Tusk said that Croatia had the right to be proud of the 25 years since its international recognition, adding that it had used them well and not let down either Europe or the UN, which recognized it a quarter of a century ago. You have the right to be proud of these 25 years and Europe is proud of you and your achievements too, said Tusk addressing the Sabor in Croatian. - The taste of independence and democracy is not always sweet, conflicts and differences are an integral part of history and everyday life, which is why it is important to always look for what brings us together, always anew and tirelessly, Tusk said, calling on Croatia to pursue this difficult task for the sake of peace and stability in the region and all of Europe.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović stressed that January 15, the day of international recognition, is one of the most important dates in Croatian history, she said. "For the Croatian people, creating an independent state was a matter of exercising a legitimate historical right, but also a matter of survival. She reiterated that the democratically expressed will of the people and the victory in the 1991-95 war were the foundation of the Croatian state and the support of its people's sovereignism.