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.
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