DIPLOMACY

PM Dancila reconfirms Romania’s firm support for Montenegro’s EU accession

During a state visit to Montenegro, the first visit paid by a Romanian Prime Minister since Montenegro declared its independence on 3 June 2006, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila met her Montenegrin counterpart Dusko Markovic on Wednesday.

According to a communique remitted by the Romanian Government, the agenda of the talks reconfirmed the excellent level reached in bilateral relations and allowed the tackling, in a constructive and pragmatic dialogue, of the topics of cooperation on the bilateral agenda, collaboration within NATO, the status of Montenegro’s European path, as well as the most recent developments in the region.

“The two senior dignitaries have expressed their interest in deepening relations in all areas of common interest, with emphasis on economic cooperation, increased trade and deepening the sectoral energy cooperation, focusing on interconnectivity, and also environment, tourism and home affairs. In this sense, it was agreed to intensify the ministerial dialogue, and a meeting between the Energy ministers was proposed. Moreover, the officials expressed the intention to activate the bilateral contacts at the working level and to prepare direct contact platforms between the business communities of the two countries, deciding to hold a common economic forum,” reads the quoted release.

Viorica Dancila reaffirmed, in this context, “the full availability of our country to provide the relevant expertise and technical assistance in this process, continuing the exchange of experience that has been successfully carried out so far through bilateral cooperation mechanisms and instruments, in areas of interest for the Montenegrin side in the accession negotiations.”

According to the communiqué, the Romanian dignitary conveyed “the special appreciation for the clear strategic option of the Montenegrin state and noted that one year since joining NATO, the opened consistent reform process will also be a benefit to the success of the EU accession negotiations.”

During the meeting, the Romanian side expressed the conviction that the increased participation of Montenegro in the relevant regional cooperation initiatives, such as the projects developed under the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, represents a natural continuation of the consolidation of the European path of the entire region.

The Romanian side stated that Montenegro’s NATO accession contributes to the stability of the Western Balkans and to the elimination of security threats in this region. Both states remain loyal to the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance and fully support Allied values, principles and objectives recently reconfirmed through the Final Statement adopted by the Alliance in Brussels on 12 July 2018.

At the same time, the Romanian side expressed its conviction that Montenegro’s increased participation in the relevant regional cooperation initiatives – such as the projects developed under the aegis of the EU Strategy for the Danube Region – represents a natural continuation of the consolidation of the European path of the entire region.

At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Viorica Dancila invited Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic to pay an official visit to Romania.

Viorica Dancila has started on Wednesday a three-day Western Balkans tour that includes official meetings with state officials from Montenegro and Macedonia.

Dancila’s agenda in Podgorica included also meetings with the country’s President Milo Djukanovic and Chairman of the Macedonian Parliament Ivan Brajovic.

This is the first official visit of a Romanian prime minister to Montenegro.

According to a Romanian government statement, the latest developments in the bilateral relationship, in Montenegro’s EU accession negotiations, possibilities for Romania’s support, as well as co-operation inside NATO will be analysed at the meeting.

The visit to Skopje will also be the first by a Romanian prime minister to Macedonia since the declaration of the country’s independence in 1991.

While in Macedonia, Dancila will hold a series of high-level meetings with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, with Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov, and Chairman of the Macedonian Parliament Talat Xhaferi.

During the talks, opportunities for developing the bilateral relationship will be examined and the latest developments in the European and Euro-Atlantic journey of the Republic of Macedonia will be analysed.

The political dialogue with officials from both countries will focus on reconfirming close bilateral relations grounded in supporting EU membership and ensuring regional stability and security.

In the context of the special attention attached by Romania to its relations with the Balkan states, the ways to continue the development of good bilateral relations with these two countries will be explored, with emphasis on strengthening economic co-operation.

A major objective will be the European agenda of the two countries, given the importance Romania will give to the Western Balkans region during its term in office as president of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2019.

Regional security will also be looked into in partnership logic, taking into account the recent invitation to Macedonia to join NATO, as well as Montenegro’s recent NATO membership.

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