Pompeo becomes first US Secretary of State to visit Montenegro

Pompeo becomes first US Secretary of State to visit Montenegro

Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted that the first official visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro testifies to the fact that the two countries foster friendship and alliance, Montenegro Government Press service announced.

“Following the visit of US Vice President Mike Pence, this is further evidence of the excellent relations between our two countries and a sign that the United States values ​​our alliance and its constructive role in the region and beyond”, Prime Minister Marković underscored at the joint press conference, describing the first visit of a US Secretary of State to Montenegro as historic. Secretary of State Pompeo made a similar assessment.

“On behalf of the American people, I am proud to say that the United States will continue to stand with the people of Montenegro as a friend, as a partner and as an ally”, the US Secretary of State told the press.

The two officials expressed satisfaction with the fact that Montenegro is a member of NATO. The Prime Minister said that the USA played an important role in Montenegro’s preparations for the membership and that Montenegro already enjoys security and economic benefits from membership.

In that context, the US Secretary of State announced the most valuable agreement to equip the Montenegrin Armed Forces with US military equipment worth USD 36 million.

The US Secretary of State informed the public about Montenegro’s commitment to confronting the 21st century threats.

“Because of our direct cyber security cooperation with Montenegro, we have been able to develop patches against the latest Russian manoeuvre that now protect billions of devices worldwide,” said Secretary of State Pompeo.

He also stressed that the United States will continue to support Montenegro’s EU bid, and that it is of strategic importance for the USA and EU to be present in the Western Balkans so as not to leave room for those who do not share our common principles and values. Prime Minister Marković agreed on the need for the US presence in the region, emphasising that the integration process should be based on individual merit.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its support on a number of issues, noting that Montenegro fosters regional stability as a NATO member and that it also shares the US priorities across a range of foreign policy issues.

Pompeo also met with Montenegrin President, Milo Đukanović, who said that this visit is an honour for Montenegro.

He recaled that relations between Montenegro and the United States were particularly enriched at the end of last century, during the Yugoslav crisis, when a strong trust was built to this day, He thanked for significant political and financial assistance from Washington, which has crucially contributed to maintaining peace and multiethnic harmony in the Montenegro.

“Trust between the two countries was also important for the implementation of reforms in our country, for the restoration of independence, NATO membership and leadership in the negotiation process with the EU”, Đukanović said. He added that the visit is a gesture of US support for the youngest NATO member, and a message to everyone in the region who should follow this example.

Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its dedicated participation in peacekeeping missions, pointing out that although the small country of Montenegro sends strong messages that it is not only a member but an active member of NATO and can set an example for larger countries. “A small country, but an enormous contribution“, Pompeo said./ibna