On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Croatia as they celebrate the anniversary of their declaration of independence this June 25th.
As the first Statehood Day since Croatia's accession to the European Union, this year's celebration is particularly significant. Last July's accession was an event that underscored the historic transformation Croatia has successfully undertaken in the two decades since securing its independence. Croatia's integration in Euro-Atlantic institutions advances the vision of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace. Croatia provides a model for other countries striving to join NATO and the EU.
Croatia and the United States enjoy a close and enduring friendship. We look forward to deepening our partnership in the years ahead. Croatia has been a valuable NATO partner and contributor to the reconciliation efforts in South Central Europe. The close cooperation between our two countries represents our shared commitment to promoting peace and prosperity throughout the world.
We wish all the people of Croatia the very best on this important occasion, and remain committed to further expanding our bilateral relationship.