By Adnan Prekic – Montenegro
After a two-day official visit to Montenegro, Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Montenegro is determined to be part of NATO, and that it has demontrated that not only politicaly and declaratively, but with results and specific actions. Although he did not state whether Montenegro will receive an invitation for membership at the upcoming summit in Wales, Rasmussen said that Montenegro has made significant progress in all areas, but it is still necessary to make efforts to continue strengthening the rule of law, reforms in the security sector, fighting against corruption and organized crime.
Intense bilateral activity of Montenegrin state leaders, who in recent months on all important addresses lobbied for obtaining an invitation for membership in NATO, has been continued with visit of the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. During his two-day visit Rasmussen met with the presidents of the state and the assembly Filip Vujanovic and Ranko Krivokapic, Foreign Minister Igor Luksic and Justice Minister Dusko Markovic. The Secretary General gave his last press conference with Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic with whom he met repeatevly during these last three months at the headquarters of NATO and on the security conference in Bratislava.
Rasmussen said that Montenegro, since the restoration of independence, has achieved a lot. “Montenegro is a very important partner for NATO and a strong candidate for membership. You have shown commitment to the Alliance in a practical sense and play a positive role in the Western Balkans and are contributing to the international security”, said Rasmussen.
He welcomed the support that was shown by Montenegro towards the attitude of Western countries when it comes to the issue of Ukraine, respect for international law and thanked for the contribution to the mission in Afghanistan. He stated that NATO is committed to future Western Balkans countries, as a natural part of the Euro-Atlantic family.
“I am look forward to seeing Montenegro associated with the Euro-Atlantic family as soon as it is ready. There are many achievements but you need to invest your future efforts in those areas that are relevant for your accession to the EU. In particular to the strengthening the rule of law, security sector, fight against corruption and organized crime. We are preparing a summit in Wales and there will be 28 members of the Alliance, which will make that decision”, concluded Rasmussen.
Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic said that Montenegro has made significant steps and efforts in order to receive an invitation for membership in NATO. Safety remains one of the most important problems in the region which is why Montenegro’s membership in NATO would be very helpful. We expect from members of NATO at the summit in Wales, to evaluate what Montenegro has done and invite us to join the military alliance, prime minister Djukanovic concluded.