Croatia's National Day

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 24, 2011

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of the Republic of Croatia as you celebrate 20 years of independence this June 25. On this day 20 years ago history was made, but it also marked the beginning of a difficult period for Croatians.

Croatia overcame many challenges and today has a secure future as a member of NATO and soon the European Union. This is an occasion to honor Croatia and the many achievements of its citizens over the years. The reforms that you have undertaken have brought you to the threshold of the European Union.

Croatia has turned the corner and has been a force for peace in the region. The reconciliation efforts with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina are admirable. Throughout the world, Croatia is helping to address global security issues as an ally in NATO and as a contributor to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and other international missions. Our close cooperation promoting peace and prosperity in places throughout the world demonstrates our shared commitment to freedom, democracy, and human rights.

As you celebrate your National Day with family and friends, know that the United States is your partner and friend. We are committed to this relationship for a brighter future for all Croatians.

PRN: 2011/1042