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11th India-Croatia Foreign Office Consultations held in New Delhi

On April 30, 2024, Croatia and India held the 11th Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) session in New Delhi, India. Shri Pavan Kapoor, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, India, led the Indian delegation. Dr. Petar Mihatov, Director General for Political Affairs at Croatia’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, led the Croatian delegation.

Areas of Bilateral Cooperation

Both countries carried out a comprehensive review of existing bilateral relations between India and Croatia. Both sides also discussed strengthening cooperation in trade and economics, science and technology, defence and maritime, innovation, research and development, culture, tourism, and people-to-people ties. Shri Randhir Jaiswal, Official Spokesperson at the Ministry of External Affairs, India, noted on X, “11th India-Croatia FOC was held in New Delhi today. Co-chaired by Secy (West) @AmbKapoor and Director-General for Political Affairs @MVEP_hr, Petar Mihatov. They reviewed the entire range of bilateral cooperation, and also discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest.”

Global Issues

Both sides also held discussions on areas of international cooperation, especially in the United Nations (UN) and other multilateral forums. Both dignitaries also noted with satisfaction the growing cooperation between the European Union (EU) and India that is strengthening their bilateral relations. India and Croatia also highlighted the importance of an expedited conclusion to a balanced, comprehensive, and mutually beneficial India-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

India-Croatia Bilateral Ties

In 1992, India and Croatia established diplomatic ties. Both countries have signed several agreements for trade, investment, and economic cooperation. Several Indian companies have invested in Croatia in pharmaceuticals, Information Technology (IT), and hospitality. Both sides have also witnessed high-level visits over the years. Dr. S. Jaishankar became India’s first External Affairs Minister to visit Croatia in 2021. He called on Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković in Zagreb, the Croatian capital, to discuss means to strengthen bilateral cooperation in pharmaceuticals, digital, and infrastructure. He also met with his Croatian counterpart, Gordan Grlić-Radman, during his visit. In March 2023, Minister Radman participated in the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi. He co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Dr. Jaishankar on defence cooperation. In July 2023, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Culture, participated in the Dubrovnik Forum, a prestigious forum on geopolitics in Croatia. Besides that, Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi met with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on the sidelines of the COP26 in Glasgow in November 2021.

In April 1995, Dr. Mate Granić, former Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, signed the Protocol on Foreign Office Consultations during his visit to India. Since then, ten FOCs have taken place between Croatia and India and, alternatively, in Zagreb and New Delhi. Both countries held their 10th round of FOCs in Zagreb in November 2022. The next round (12th) will again be held in Zagreb on a date convenient for both parties.