Croatian President Stjepan Mesić began an official visit to Tajikistan with talks with President Emomali Rahmon.
The two presidents first met at an informal dinner on Saturday evening, shortly after President Mesić's arrival in Dushanbe. The official meeting began with one-on-one talks between the two presidents, who were later joined by delegations of their countries. The two sides stressed the need for promoting bilateral relations in all areas.
The purpose of the visit, the first by a Croatian president to this Central Asian country, was to establish "mutually beneficial cooperation".
"Our focus on Europe in no way excludes our cooperation with countries outside Europe," Croatian President said after the meeting.
"On the contrary, in those countries we can find markets for our goods, and we can help them in putting their goods on the European market." Presidents Rahmon and Mesić signed a statement setting out principles on which the two countries will develop their relationship. They also discussed a visit by the Tajik president to Croatia, possibly later this summer.
After the talks, two agreements were signed: an agreement on cooperation between the two countries' foreign ministries and an agreement on cooperation between their chambers of commerce.
Later on, President Mesić held talks with Tajik Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov, stressing the need to set up an intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation and to introduce flight service between Dushanbe and Zagreb. Oqilov cited water energy, tourism and the food and pharmaceutical industries as possible areas of cooperation.
During his stay in Tajikistan, President Mesić was also scheduled to meet the Tajik parliament speaker and visit the country's largest aluminium factory TadAZ.