Toast by H.E.Mr. Stjepan Mesić, president of the Republic of Croatia
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of Mrs. Mesić and in my own name let me bid you, Mr. President, Mrs. Havlova and the members of the Czech delegation a cordial welcome. Although this is our third meeting over the past few months, after the inauguration in Zagreb and the meeting in Hungary, it is my privilege and pleasure, Mr. President, to welcome you this time as a dear guest in the Republic of Croatia. I am also pleased to see you in good health and well-recovered after your operation last month.
The Czech Republic and Croatia are two friendly countries which have fostered the tradition of good relations since the time when Croatia was not an independent state. Over decades the Czech and the Croatian peoples have developed friendly ties, which became, after the Republic of Croatia achieved independence, a precious bond and foundation for the establishment of good bilateral relations.
Over the decade since independence Croatia has faced many challenges, related primarily to the democratic development of its society and its identification within the unstable region to which it belongs. After the recent parliamentary and presidential elections, the new government is determined to achieve genuine democratization of society as well as to pursue, through the reform of the privatization model, a successful economic transition in order to assure social peace and economic progress to all citizens of Croatia.
The new Croatian government also wants to develop good relations with all countries, those in the neighbourhood in particular, and its strategic goal is integration in global and European political, security and economic systems.
The good relations betwee our countries to date have resulted in sound bilateral cooperation in the political field as well as in the coordination of activities in multilateral bodies.
In our bilateral relations with the Czech Republic we look forward to the best possible cooperation in all fields; we would like our cooperation in the field of culture, sports and other areas to develop to a degree matching the good political relations of the two countries. The development of bilateral economic cooperation is of particular importance, and it must be given new momentum, because peace and stability in the region are not possible without economic progress.
The participation and cooperation of the countries in the region in regional initiatives, the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe in particular, is especially important, and it should be sustained so as to provide concrete support to the social changes which have occurred in the region. Thereby we also confirm our cooperativeness to the international community in the wish to ensure lasting peace and stability - the condition for progress in the region and its countries.
Looking forward to the continuous development of our relations to the benefit of our countries and citizens, let me propose a toast to lasting friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the Czech Republic and Croatia, to the future of the Czech people, and to your happiness and the happiness of Mrs. Havlova, and wish you a pleasant holiday in Croatia!