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President Drnovšek's statement after his discussions with Montenegrin President

Brdo by Kranj, 07/12/2004  |  statement

President Drnovšek today received the President of Montenegro, Mr Filip Vujanović, who is on a working visit to Slovenia at Dr Drnovšek's invitation. Dr Drnovšek and Mr Vujanović assessed relations between the two countries as good and friendly, with excellent ongoing communication offering further incentives for strengthening cooperation. The presidents discussed economic cooperation at considerable length and assessed the relations in this area to be getting stronger. There are, however, many open possibilities since Slovene companies are very interested in the Montenegrin market. President Vujanović outlined the situation in Montenegro and the efforts of the state to attain its objective of EU membership. He then went on to emphasise the importance of Slovenia's support as an EU member state, particularly as it has a better understanding of the region than any other country in the Union. President Drnovšek promised that Slovenia would support Montenegro in attaining its objectives. Dr Drnovšek and Mr Vujanović also touched on the status of Serbia and Montenegro and Dr Drnovšek said that only solutions resulting from dialogue and agreement between the two sides would be acceptable to Slovenia. At the close of the talks, President Vujanović invited President Drnovšek to visit Montenegro.

At the close of the talks, President Drnovšek made the following statement:

"I am delighted to act as host to the President of Montenegro, Mr Filip Vujanović. Lately, our traditionally good relations have been getting stronger. We have established that economic relations between the two countries have been growing stronger, and that Slovene companies are very interested in cooperation, both in trade and investment in Montenegro. There are great prospects also for the future and both sides support the plans of our companies and our economy to be more involved in Montenegro. In Slovenia, we hope that Serbia and Montenegro will soon define their status. We wish to have as good and constructive relationship as possible with both countries and we hope that Serbia and Montenegro - in this case we play host to Montenegro – will enter closer relations with other European countries as soon as possible and have the sure prospect of EU membership ahead of them. Slovenia will act, to the best of its abilities, to ensure this takes place as soon as possible. We shall endeavour to share our experience and knowledge gained in this process with Montenegro, to work as a team with them even within the EU, with a view to both sides benefiting as much as possible from such cooperation."

When asked by a Tanjug journalist how Dr Drnovšek assessed the future of Serbia and Montenegro, and when he would visit Montenegro, Dr Drnovšek replied:

"As I have already said, Slovenia wishes to have the best possible relations with Serbia and Montenegro, irrespective of whether they are together in a union or otherwise. We always respect democratic decisions. In accordance with the Belgrade Agreement that was approved by the EU, this will be decided by Serbia and Montenegro after a three-year transition period has expired. Indeed it is our wish that democratic processes might progress as much as possible in both republics – as Yugoslav republics we used to live together with in one state. We hope that there may soon be economic progress and entry into the European Union, for both republics. This is our view, and I think it reflects our own experience and expectations for the future.
Mr Vujanović invited me to visit Montenegro. It is true that I have not been to Montenegro in a long time, therefore I shall be delighted to pay it a visit. At this moment, I cannot say when but I should be delighted to visit Montenegro again after all these years."
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