Secretary Gazmin Receives Crotia's Defense Minister

The Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin received last October 1 Honorable Ante Kotromanović, Minister of Defense of the Republic of Croatia. During their meeting, the ministers conveyed their desire to foster closer defense relations between the Philippines and Croatia, with Secretary Gazmin noting that Minister Kotromanović is the first minister from Southeastern Europe to visit Manila.

In their discussions, the two ministers exchanged views on their respective modernization and reform programs. Secretary Gazmin emphasized that defense reform and transformation need to be sustained while Minister Kotromanović alluded to Croatia’s doing away with conscription as a key step in professionalizing Croatia’s army.

On regional defense collaboration, Minister Kotromanović shared how members of NATO, including Croatia, focus on specific niche so as to enable the alliance to optimize the capability and resources of its members. Pooling resource has become a norm, according to the minister. Secretary Gazmin, for his part, discussed how the ASEAN defense sector, is looking at how to being into fruition the idea of the ASEAN Defense Industry Collaboration (ADIC).

Among the other issues the ministers shared their respective country's experiences are on efforts to combat piracy and contribute in global peace and security through peacekeeping deployments. The Philippines and Croatia have contingents in the UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.

In the Philippines as official guest of Secretary Gazmin, Minister Kotromanović returns to Croatia this week.
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