07 Oct 2019, 16:56 PM

07 October 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović received United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Villa Gorica.

President Đukanović said the first visit of the US secretary of state is historical and an honor for Montenegro. He recalled the long tradition of relations between the two countries and highlighted the US's appreciation for continued support throughout its historical duration.

"Relations between Montenegro and the United States were particularly enriched at the end of the last century, during the Yugoslav crisis, when a strong trust was built to this day thanks to significant political and financial assistance from Washington, which has crucially contributed to maintaining peace and multiethnic harmony in Montenegro," pointed out Đukanović, adding that the trust between the two countries was also important for the implementation of reforms in Montenegro, restoration of independence, NATO membership and leadership in the negotiation process with the EU. 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.

Recalling the achievements of the past 13 years, the President stressed that we had demonstrated policy-making skills, reform capacity, and a clear vision and ability to adopt European and Euro-Atlantic values, with respect for human and minority rights and democracy. Speaking about state policy priorities, he emphasized maintaining a good pace of economic growth, continuing the integration process with a strong commitment to the rule of law and media freedoms, and enhancing internal political stability, and enhancing religious freedom through drafting the Laws to the highest European standards.

He also reaffirmed Montenegro's commitment to continue to be a promoter of Europeanization in the Region, stating that the integration of the WB is a prerequisite for its stability and overcoming a deep lag. In this regard, he welcomed the increased US presence in the region, the appointment of a special envoy, and expressed his expectation that a more determined European enlargement policy would be encouraged, reported President's Office.

He particularly emphasized satisfaction with bilateral relations and valuable cooperation in defense and security, hybrid threats, and the rule of law. He conveyed to Secretary Pompeo an openness to strengthen economic cooperation and more significant presence of US investors, who will bring, above all, new standards and skills.

The US Secretary of State thanked the President and his team for their excellent cooperation and commended Montenegro for its achievements since the restoration of independence. He shared his belief that the US would remain actively engaged in Europe, the Balkans, and especially with Montenegro, especially in the context of a more dynamic enlargement process. The US will be very supportive of Montenegro's EU integration as quickly as possible.

US Secretary of State also stressed that Montenegro could count on support to achieve what is good for the people and the government and what is good for Europe, with the message that the US wants Montenegro to become the youngest member of the EU, as it has become the youngest NATO member and lead the region. Pompeo thanked Montenegro for its dedicated participation in peacekeeping missions, pointing out that although the small country of Montenegro sends secure 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," rated Pompeo.

In addition, the United States has shown full confidence when it comes to reaching Montenegro's planned budget allocations for defense.

"This is not just about money; it is about demonstrating a political commitment to the common defense. In the context of resolving open issues in the region," concluded Pompeo, saying that Montenegro should be proactive in ideas that will lead to a good outcome for the WB.

The US Secretary of State also expressed interest in the presence of US investors in Montenegro.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

04 Oct 2019, 22:57 PM

04 October 2019 - 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.

"Following the visit of 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 constructive role in the region and beyond," Prime Minister Duško 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 the same 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.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Montenegro1

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 36 million USD.

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

"Because of our direct cybersecurity cooperation with Montenegro, we have been able to develop patches against the latest Russian maneuver 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, reported the Office of the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

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.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

30 Sep 2019, 23:56 PM

30 September 2019 - Montenegro’s successful cooperation with the Council of Europe is particularly important in terms of expert support in the field of Montenegrin media legislation reform, said Montenegrin Minister of Culture, Aleksandar Bogdanović at a meeting with Head of the Information Society Department at the Council of Europe Patrick Penninckx. On this occasion, Minister Bogdanović informed Penninckx about activities in drafting new legal solutions.

Mr. Penninckx stressed that the cooperation with the Government of Montenegro and the Ministry of Culture on the reform of media legislation has been extremely productive so far. Furthermore, he expressed the belief that the new legal solutions will further enhance media activity in Montenegro.

The two officials highlighted the importance of free and independent media as a basis for the stability of a democratic society, adding that the aforementioned area should be continuously improved, both through systemic solutions and consistent implementation of rights and obligations by all actors of society.

Minister Bogdanović and Mr. Penninckx spoke about the upcoming start of the second phase of the 2019-2022 JUFREX Horizontal Facility Programme for the Western Balkans and Turkey, with the aim of normative and institutional protection and promotion of freedom of expression and implementation of high standards of the European legal framework as an important precondition and principle of sustainable democracy.

30 Sep 2019, 21:27 PM

30 September 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović finished his visit to New York, where he participated in the General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Guterres expressed satisfaction with the meeting with President Đukanović, because, as he said, Montenegro is a member with no problems. He characterized relations between Montenegro and the UN as excellent, and cooperation in all areas appropriate. The United Nations especially appreciates the initiatives taken towards a peaceful resolution of problems in the region, in which Montenegro is the voice of common sense.

In the context of reaching the full stability of the region, Guterres stressed the importance of creating an environment in which things will move positively, assessing that one of the causes is still unresolved issues, with some delay in Brussels regarding enlargement. He expressed the expectation that the future composition of the European Commission would show greater enthusiasm for the enlargement to the Western Balkans, reported the President's Office.

President Đukanović thanked Secretary-General Guterres for taking the time to meet on a rich agenda during the session and reaffirmed Montenegro's strong partnership and commitment to UN values ​​and multilateralism. He recalled the dynamic agenda of meeting with UN officials and, in the context of continued political dialogue, invited Guterres to visit Montenegro for the 15th anniversary of UN membership in 2021. At the same time, that visit would be a good message for the region as well, Đukanović said.

The President pointed out the key priorities of Montenegro's further development - continuation of European integration and preservation of dynamic economic development, with the assessment that the UN's impetus to accelerate the integration of the Region would be further significant given the strong conviction that WB problems cannot be resolved outside the European Union and Euro-Atlantic structures.

He reaffirmed Montenegro's strong support for UN initiatives and full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as reform processes within the system, with continued cooperation with the UN Resident Coordinator in Montenegro.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

30 Sep 2019, 21:22 PM

30 September 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore in New York, where he attends the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

President Đukanović expressed his gratitude for the continued support of UNICEF Montenegro in the implementation of numerous joint projects that resulted in the implementation of legal reforms in the field of child protection, prevention of domestic violence, juvenile justice, and education, and inclusive education.

He pointed to the quality of partnerships which enabled constructive dealing with very sensitive issues and led to significant changes in society in the field of social policy and child protection, and promotion of children's rights and raising awareness of the need for their protection, changes in social behavior and environment, especially in the areas health, education and equal rights. On this line, he expressed his belief that successful cooperation will continue in the future through the implementation of the Cooperation Program for Montenegro for the period 2017-2021, which aims to build on the results achieved so far in the field of child protection and social inclusion and quality education, reported his Office.

The President emphasized that the protection of the rights of children and young people is high on the agenda of the priorities of Montenegro and stressed the importance of adopting the Strategy for the realization of the rights of the child for the period 2019-2023 as a key document in this area. He stressed his readiness to be, as formerly, promoter of the campaigns conducted by the UNICEF office in Montenegro and announced support for the forthcoming campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of vaccination.

Director Fore said that she was honored and delighted with Montenegro's good experience with UNICEF.

"You carry the urge to do something and help the children in Montenegro," pointed out Fore.

She welcomed President Đukanović's willingness to participate in the immunization campaign, with the desire to encourage other countries in the region to take action in the fight against negative campaigning on this topic through his leadership. She emphasized future projects as an early childhood education and skills development for adolescents that will enable them to have a happier and more productive life, which is accepted with pleasure.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

28 Sep 2019, 21:44 PM

28 September 2019 - After attending the opening of the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with Koen Davidse, executive director of the Dutch constituency at the World Bank.

President Đukanović emphasized the importance of overall cooperation with the World Bank, including credit support from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), as part of the World Bank. He also pointed out that the priorities of the World Bank were in line with the priorities of Montenegro's economic policy, strengthening fiscal stability and raising the level of competitiveness and creating new jobs, reported his Office.

The Executive Director at the World Bank expressed his satisfaction with the opportunity to meet with the President and become more familiar with the vision of development in Montenegro. He positively assessed the processes in Montenegro in terms of growth and fiscal stabilization and expressed interest in cooperation in youth employment, private sector and sustainability projects. He also praised the balance Montenegro is making between progress and the sustainability of the economy.

The interlocutors agreed that the integration of the region is the best framework for its development, especially in the context of the need to adopt new knowledge and European standards in overcoming trade barriers in the region.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

28 Sep 2019, 21:09 PM

28 September 2019 - The United States Embassy in Montenegro confirmed yesterday that U.S. Secretary of State, Michael R. Pompeo, will visit Montenegro. From October 1 to 6, Pompeo will travel to Montenegro, Italy, the Holy See, North Macedonia, and Greece.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus, announced that Pompeo would take part in the U.S. and Holy See Symposium on Partnering with Faith-Based Organizations, where he will deliver keynote remarks.  He will have a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, and meet with Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Gallagher.

In Rome, Italy, the Secretary will meet with President Mattarella, Prime Minister Conte, and Foreign Minister Di Maio. He will also visit Abruzzo to tour his ancestral home.

The Secretary will then travel to Montenegro, where he will meet with President Đukanović, Prime Minister Duško Marković, and Foreign Minister Darmanović. It will be the first official visit of a U.S. Secretary of State to Montenegro since the restoration of its state independence in 2006, reports Aljazeera. Pompeo, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's closest associates, will emphasize the importance of partnership and alliance between the two countries in NATO, a senior State Department official said at a press briefing on Pompeo's European tour, which was held on the sidelines of a United Nations General Assembly session.

Pompeo will also emphasize NATO's openness to new members and the contribution Montenegro has made as a small country to the Alliance in terms of geographical location and entry to the Adriatic Sea.

Asked by Voice of America about the significance and timing of the visit, the official said Montenegro was an important ally and that "the secretary of state is looking forward to the historic opportunity to visit it."

A senior State Department official said the U.S. remains highly engaged and focused on the Western Balkans region, which is strategically important to Europe's vision of being united, free and at peace, which is confirmed with the Secretary of State's decision to appoint a Special Representative for the Balkans, Matthew Palmer.

After his visit to Montenegro, Secretary will travel to North Macedonia, where he will meet with President Pendarovski, Prime Minister Zaev, and other government officials. The Secretary will also tour the Holy Mother of God “Peribleptos” monastery complex while visiting Lake Ohrid.

Finally, the Secretary will travel to Athens, Greece, where he will meet with Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Dendias, and Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos.

28 Sep 2019, 19:21 PM

28 September 2019 - Montenegro has no doubts when it comes to the country’s accession to the EU, and we hope that the next Brussels administration will give an additional impetus to the Union's more active role in the region, Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin said at a meeting with ambassadors of the EU Member States and the Head of EU Delegation to Podgorica.

During the meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister and ambassadors exchanged views on current political topics and issues relevant to the process of European integration of Montenegro.

Regarding the current process of electoral reform and other legislation reform, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that the ruling majority is open to dialogue with the opposition in order to hold all future elections in Montenegro according to the highest international standards. He stressed, however, that the current demands of the opposition for a caretaker government have no political, democratic or constitutional basis, and that any dialogue that would mean the opposition's insistence on such unrealistic and unfounded demands has no future.

Speaking about the Law on Freedom of Religion, DPM Pažin noted that the Government is ready to achieve the maximum degree of consensus in constructive and professional dialogue with religious communities to further advance the legal text by accepting the recommendations of the Venice Commission. He estimated that yesterday's meeting between Prime Minister Duško Marković and Metropolitan Amfilohije was an expression of the democratic capacity of the Prime Minister and the Government and the readiness to engage in a constructive and reasoned dialogue with all religious communities on this subject, despite a very aggressive and factually unfounded campaign against the proposed law. The Deputy Prime Minister assessed the content of yesterday's meeting as a positive and encouraging step.

DPM Pažin said that in the case of the request of the Republic of Croatia for the extradition of Saša Sinđelić, his decision as Minister of Justice would be based on the law and very principled, respecting the position of the competent court on the fulfillment of the conditions for extradition.

Furthermore, the officials exchanged opinions on other issues of importance for Montenegro's accession to the European Union.

Ambassador Aivo Orav, the Head of the EU Delegation to Podgorica, thanked Deputy Prime Minister Pažin for open and honest dialogue and pointed out that the European Union wants to see Montenegro as its member as soon as possible, which is why European partners expect Montenegro to apply the highest standards of respect for European policies and values.

27 Sep 2019, 22:29 PM
September 27, 2019 - The Government of Montenegro adopted the Bill on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of the Natural and Cultural-Historical Area of ​​Kotor at its session held on Thursday, September 26.
After the meeting, Minister of Culture Aleksandar Bogdanovic addressed the media, who said that the proposal was preceded by a period during which many other activities were implemented.
"The determination of the proposed changes to the existing legal solution was, first of all, motivated to preserve Kotor status on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Action Plan, which also became the Government's strategy in the past, preceded the drafting of this document. It was during the three years that we made some other very significant decisions and implemented complex activities to receive significant encouragement and positive evaluations from UNESCO. The result is the positive comment we have got this year from the Committee Session held in Baku," emphasized Minister Bogdanović.
One of the implemented measures was the introduction of a moratorium on construction in the protected area of Kotor. Also, for the first time, a mechanism for the preparation of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) was introduced into national legislation, he emphasized.
Minister Bogdanovic also spoke about the critical changes envisaged by the enacted act.
This document amended the articles on the drafting of the Heritage Impact Assessment in terms of more precise guidelines for the procedure itself. The new solution also envisages introducing a difference in method for the protection zone and the protected environment/buffer zone. The impact assessments for the buffer zone should be defined based on a separate act to be adopted by the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property. The document should identify locations in the buffer zone that have an impact on the universal value of the Kotor area and for which it is necessary to operate the HIA - he said.
Minister Aleksandar Bogdanovic concluded that the proposed amendments further define the procedures for making individual assessments for heritage, but also leave room for these procedures to be drafted only within the zones defined by a particular act of the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property.
27 Sep 2019, 17:01 PM

27 September 2019 - Upon his arrival in New York, where he is attending the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović met with representatives of the Diaspora organized by the Consulate General of Montenegro in New York.

The President of Montenegro expressed his gratitude to those present and the entire Diaspora for their loyalty to Montenegro and contribution to the aspirations of our modern state, noting that the Diaspora also represents a significant Montenegrin potential for the near better future.

They discussed the processes in our country and the region, in the context of integration aspirations, the achievement of European values ​​and standards and increasing the quality of life of citizens, reported the Office of the President of Montenegro.

President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović also had the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Montenegrin Diaspora Association on Thursday, following his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Continuing his visit, President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović will also attend the official opening of the General Debate of the 74th Session of the General Assembly and will be a guest at a luncheon hosted by Antonio Guterres for top UN officials, as well as receptions by US President Donald Trump and Donald Tusk President of European Council.

Read more news about politics in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.

22 Sep 2019, 16:44 PM

September 22, 2019 - The manifestation Kotor Circle ended yesterday in the city. The second edition of this Festival of free thought will be remembered for political censorship directed by the local DPS government. Namely, on the day of the festival beginning, the financier - Kotor Municipality, informed the organizers that they would be denied support if, although it was foreseen by the previously defined agenda, Goran Jovanovic, alias Timur Tmurni appeared at the Festival.

On Thursday, the organizers of the Kotor Circle informed satirist Goran Jovanovic that he was unwelcome as a participant of the event at which he had to speak with the renowned Serbian writer and publicist Teofil Pancic about the Culture of Dialogue.
"With great regret and sincere embarrassment, we would like to inform you that the official position of the Municipality of Kotor has been announced to us today that you cannot be one of the speakers at the Kotor Circle Festival. Since most of the participants are already in Kotor, and that these are significant names of the regional cultural scene, and we have been announced that your participation would call into question the holding of the Festival, please understand us as the organizers of the Festival and the importance of holding it and the inability to influence the new situation."
In a Facebook post, Timur Tmurni stated that he was honored to have been banned, as he said, by the illegal leadership of the Kotor municipality.
"The fact that I have acquired the status of the dissident by this expected act is very pleasing to me. I will do everything to point out to the anti-regime media in Montenegro and the reputable media in the region the miserable act of censorship and suppression of free speech," Timur Tmurni said on Facebook.
The Mayor of Kotor Željko Aprcović did not want to comment on this event, and his party colleague secretary Marina Dulovic said the municipality, sponsor of the Festival and someone who provides part of the logistics, has the right to influence the event program.
Due to the move by the editorial board of Kotor, which decided to hold the Festival anyway, visitors, numerous names from the socio-political life of Kotor and the festival participants themselves, such as Teofil Pancic and renowned Croatian writer and columnist Ante Tomic, gathered on Friday in the hall of the Kotor Cultural Center and expressed their displeasure.
"In more than a quarter-century of my professional career and public involvement in social problems, where I have often encountered various forms of implicit and explicit censorship, I have not encountered, seen or experienced anything like this before," commented the famous Serbian journalist and writer Teofil Pancic in Kotor on Friday. Because of his explicit ban on his participation in the Kotor Circle Festival, he could not share the booth with musician, satirist, and poet, doctor Goran Jovanovic.
kotor circle teofil pancicKotor circle: Teofil Pancic, Copyright: Timur Tmurni FB
Pancic came to the gathering wearing a "Je suis Timur Tmurni" t-shirt (I'm Timur Tmurni), alluding to t-shirts with similar messages worn several years ago by intellectuals around the world in support of the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
He said that the censorship of the current Kotor authorities to Jovanovic, "is usually done more subtly, in such a way that the traces of the atrocities are not seen."
"This is so bare and brutal that my first thought when I heard about it was that it was just incredibly stupid. So, besides being amoral, socially irresponsible, cheeky, opinionated, arrogant, undemocratic, etc., above all, it is incredibly shameful, because in such a way, nowadays, in today's social, technological and cultural circumstances, such things do not work. If censorship occurs, then it simply goes some other course, more subtly and with hiding. There are no traces of abuses, such as preventive censorship in Serbia, which is very difficult to prove because there are no traces, "Pancic said, adding that the procedure of the Kotor DPS-government towards Timur Tmurni is" a cinematic situation."
In his further interaction with the audience, he spoke about the lack of a culture of dialogue in the former Yugoslavia, the problems of post-democracy, segregation in society on political grounds, and elementary issues of freedom.
"It is important how much you feel as free as an individual. You have to fight for freedom, and you should not be too mystified," Pancic said.
kotor circle animaKotor Circle: NGO Anima's Performance, Copyright: Timur Tmurni FB
Activists of the NGO "Anima" followed the beginning of the second festival evening, sitting in the front row, with patches over their mouth, which read "censorship." All the audience expressed their support for Timur Tmurni and his newly acquired status as a dissident in Kotor.
The organizers of the Kotor Circle, Prof. Tatjana Djurisic-Becanovic and Ksenija Rakocevic, MA addressed yesterday the public but their official statement on this issue:
"When the Secretary of Culture of the Municipality of Kotor, Ms. Marina Dulovic, orally prohibited Goran Jovanovic from participating in the Kotor Circle event and thus censured the previously adopted program, we as Organizers were left with only two options: to remain silent or to speak in terms of censorship and violence.
We have opted for the latter, because of silence, motivated by even the noblest of reasons, most suits the perpetrators of violence - the censors. Speaking, when it is strictly forbidden, when all of you - and the position and the opposition - are the most expecting torment, is the sweetest. With such a decision, we provoked the anger of both competent censors and individual advocates of free speech, who demanded from us silence, submission and recognition that we were worse than our censors. However, by maintaining this manifestation despite of censorship, we caused a real eruption of discontent and civil disobedience, which was smoldering in the "democratic conditions of democratically elected" Kotor authorities, and just waiting for provocation.
The Kotor Circle was designed as a provocative manifestation that triggers taboo-topics, which provokes and leads to verbal delinquency for both participants and visitors. We have caused your courage and challenged you to join our Circle. The Circle of Free Speech and Free Thought, which will continue to exist despite the prohibitions and anger of the righteous, because in Montenegro there will always be open circles of freedom, surrounded by the space of violence and total control. We are obliged, among other things, by the words and support of Ivan Colovic, who recognized us as heirs to the Belgrade Circle, of which he is the founder and creator of the idea. Citizens have to be brave and step into our Circle, in which no one will be intimidated, silenced, insulted, annoyed, jerked.
The municipality of Kotor, the sponsor, and censor of this event made us wonder again how much freedom costs? History teaches us that it is sometimes paid by life. Fortunately, we only paid with money because we were forced to, despite the signed Agreement, finance the Kotor Circle from our funds. It is now clear to us that freedom is still invaluable. We want to thank the competent authorities for the censorship in the attempt, which proved that we are free and will always speak freely.
We thank the holders of the free speech: Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Jerkov, Muharem Bazdulj, Mark Tomaš, Balsa Brkovic, Stevan Kordic, Dušan Maljkovic, Teofil Pancic, Dr. Ivan Colovic, Ant Tomic, Marinko Vorgic and Goran Jovanovic (Timur Tmurno), because they proved that we are all "Kotor, all of us" the organizer said in a statement.
It was the second edition of the Kotor Circle Festival, launched last year by the Culture Secretariat of the Municipality of Kotor, when it was run by parties that are opposition at the state level.
Source: Timur Tmurni FB profile, Vijesti
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