Croatian President Stjepan Mesić said on Monday that the Sovereign Military Order of Malta would help find a partner for the completion of a hospital in Zagreb's southwestern suburb of Blato.
Speaking after talks with the Order's Grand Master, Fra' Matthew Festing, President Mesić said that Festing and his associates agreed to look for potential future partners towards Croatia and Zagreb if they had the chance.
President Mesić said the talks addressed the hospital for whose completion Croatia did not have the money, so the government and the City of Zagreb might find partners to invest in the completion of the facility. The two officials recalled the long-standing cooperation between Croatia and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, in particular during and immediately after Croatia's early 1990s war of independence.
Thanking Grand Master for helping the residents of formerly war-struck areas, President Mesić informed him of the progress Croatia had achieved over the past ten years and in meeting strategic objectives.
Fra' Festing said the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which is politically neutral and does not get involved in wars and local conflicts, had sent medicines and food to refugees and the displaced as well as organised valuable construction projects. He stressed that four years ago, the Order escorted 135 UNHCR convoys which were returning Bosnian refugees to Croatia.
Fra' Festing added that today's talks would help advance Croatia's cooperation with the Order which began its humanitarian work, focusing on helping the sick, poor and marginalised, by opening the first hospital in Jerusalem 900 years ago.