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Official visit of the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović

Brdo by Kranj, 10/12/2006  |  press release, statement

Click to enlargeAt the invitation of President Drnovšek, the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, arrived today on an official visit to Slovenia where he is to stay until Saturday, 14 October.

After holding talks at Brdo Castle, the two presidents made the following statements at a joint press conference:

Click to enlargeDr Janez Drnovšek: "To extend my greetings to all of you. Mr Filip Vujanović, President of Montenegro, and myself, we have concluded the first part of today’s talk. It is a real pleasure for me that this historic visit has come to take place. It is for the first time that a president of the sovereign, independent Montenegro would pay a visit to the sovereign, independent Slovenia. It is true that our cooperation dates further back than that, however, it was a different type and a different form of cooperation. Now, it is for the first time that it involves relationship between two independent States. Our relations are very friendly. We established very close relations, both political and economic, already in the past. Slovenians know Montenegro very well and Slovenian business persons have been investing successfully there and are among the major investors in Montenegro. Trade has been increasing quickly over the recent period and President Vujanović and I agreed that Slovenia and Montenegro may develop a particular partnership, a strategic partnership both in economic relations and in other areas. Slovenia will make every effort to support Montenegro on its way towards Euro-Atlantic institutions. We wish Montenegro to succeed in that as soon as possible. It is certainly very important that Montenegro sets up an economy fully comparable with the European economy – and the work on that has been underway already for some time now. Slovenia, too, participates in the process with its advice and expertise in it will continue to do so. I greatly appreciate that the process of gaining independence had been completed so smoothly and so successfully in Montenegro. We are well aware that the situation was complex and that the tensions could have been much more severe, however, the referendum itself as well as everything that followed it was successful and everything unfolded smoothly, without problems. Montenegro, with its newly gained statehood, is now setting out on a new path and in that we wish it every success."

Click to enlargeFilip Vujanović: "President Drnovšek, ladies and gentlemen, It gives me great pleasure, as it has been always the case, to talk with the President of Slovenia, as there is so much in our bilateral relationship and its development. On this occasion I should like to thank President Drnovšek and Slovenia again – Slovenia was the first country to open an embassy in Montenegro and President Drnovšek granted agrément to our ambassador so quickly so that Montenegro has, after such a long period of time, again its ambassador in Slovenia. I have already expressed our firm belief that Slovenia will be our strategic partner on our way to the EU and that it will transfer its positive experiences to Montenegro so that Montenegro will be able to carry out what is expected on the way towards the EU. I have thanked him for everything that is being done, for all the assistance granted to Montenegro, notably in the border surveillance, in the training of our professionals who are to be involved in the process of accession to the EU, in the Partnership for Peace. No doubt, Slovenia will continue its assistance in the accession to the EU and I certainly wish that Slovenia would continue to be a strategic partner of Montenegro in that process. I have asked President Drnovšek, as it concerns a priority of Montenegro, to support Montenegro at the meeting in Riga this year to become part of the Partnership for Peace. For Montenegro this is of utmost importance. We have complied with all the conditions required for our membership in the Partnership for Peace; for us it is important not only because of the security dimension but also as an economic issue as we need to present Montenegro as a strong destination so that investments would continue to come to Montenegro. As regards bilateral relations, we established that there are excellent conditions and ample opportunities content-wise for further improving the relations in all areas of the economy and social life – science, culture, health. To, basically, continue, in the context of our future relations, with what has been done well over the past years.”

Click to enlargeAfter delivering their respective statements, the two presidents were answering to the questions of the press:
  • Question for the President Drnovšek: Slovenia has opened an embassy, however, there is no ambassador there yet, only a chargé d'affaires. When can a Slovenian ambassador in Montenegro be expected? Question for the President Vujanović: What changes can be expected after the departure of Milo Đukanović from the top of Montenegro’s political scene?
Dr Drnovšek: I hope that the Government will nominate an ambassador to Montenegro soon. As far as I am concerned, I shall do my part, in my capacity as President of the Republic, as speedily as possible. In my view it is highly appropriate that a Slovenian ambassador to Montenegro starts with the work as soon as possible.

Filip Vujanović: Mr Đukanović himself explained why he would not remain prime minister. It was my view that it would be good if he were to go on and recommended him to continue to work as Prime Minister, however, he explained his reasons. I’ve respected the reasons given, I understand that a personal decision must be respected. He will remain at the head of the largest Montenegrin party, the Democratic Party of Socialists. As from yesterday, Montenegro has a new prime minister-designate, Mr Šturanović, who was formerly Minister for Justice. I hope that he will continue this quality of our Government and also carry on the activities of the former Government with a view to improving the quality of life in Montenegro, the economic conditions of life etc.
  • Question for the President Drnovšek: Slovenia was rather quick and successful on its way to joining the European Union and that is important also for Montenegro. In your opinion, what will be the path of Montenegro to the EU like?
Dr Drnovšek: I hope that it will unfold rather quickly. However, it does not depend only on Montenegro. Much depends on the European Union, when it will be ready to accept new member states. I hope that the EU will succeed to complete its reforms in due time so that it will no be necessary for new countries, new candidates, to wait that the EU gets ready.
  • You have mentioned already, as well as our President, that in Montenegro there are many investments, including Slovenian ones. You have four investment funds, you have participated in many investment projects. Will cooperation continue to be so successful in the future, too? Will Slovenia continue to be a major investor, in particular as regards infrastructure projects that are planned to be carried out in Montenegro?
Dr Drnovšek: President Vujanović and myself, we have discussed these issues. Slovenian companies enjoy a good reputation in Montenegro since they have good references, many successful projects. Usually, Slovenian companies cooperate with contractors from Montenegro so that domestic capacities are involved in the projects. This is very important for the strengthening of the economy of Montenegro. I believe that good foundations have been built, good references; Slovenian companies will certainly bid in tenders for large infrastructure projects that are currently planned in Montenegro, for instance construction of motorways and alike.
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