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Our bilateral relations are excellent, Montenegro wants to see Kosovo in EU and NATO, PM Marković says in interview with RTK

Our bilateral relations are excellent, Montenegro wants to see Kosovo in EU and NATO, PM Marković says in interview with RTK
Published date: 03.02.2018 23:11 | Author: PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (3 February 2018) -- On the eve of his official visit to Kosovo, Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković said in an interview with Kosovo's national broadcaster RTK that the relations between the two countries are excellent, that there are no outstanding issues since Montenegro considers the demarcation of the border as completed and not outstanding issue, that Montenegro provides assistance to Kosovo's EU and NATO bids, and that it can greatly assist Kosovo in the process of strengthening domestic capacities and institution building.

“Relations between Montenegro and Kosovo are excellent. As you know, we do not have any outstanding issues. I am not of the opinion that the border demarcation can jeopardise our mutual relations. We cooperate very well. Montenegro was among the first countries to recognise Kosovo, we support Kosovo in all regional and multilateral initiatives at the EU level. Montenegro wants good cooperation with Kosovo. As you know, Montenegro opened its borders at the time of one of the greatest exodus of the Albanian people, and hosted almost one fifth of the population in Montenegro, thus demonstrating that good neighbourly relations are a great heritage of modern Montenegro,“ Prime Minister Duško Marković said in an interview with Kosovo's Television aired earlier this evening.

Montenegro wants to see Kosovo in EU and NATO

Answering the question by the RTK correspondent from Montenegro Iliriana Markashi about the areas with the best prospects for cooperation between the two countries, PM Marković said that Montenegro, as a NATO member and a state that has been negotiating EU membership for five and a half years, can greatly assist Kosovo in the process of strengthening national capacities and institution building with a view to securing its European and Euro-Atlantic perspective. The Prime Minister noted that Montenegro wants to see Kosovo in the EU and NATO and that it will support and help Kosovo's institutions on this path.

When asked if he considers that the dynamics of the Western Balkans' European integration should be better, the Prime Minister of Montenegro replied:

“Absolutely! I advocates for rapid integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU, based on the quality the EU candidate countries' accession process. But this means that the European Union must be more open to the Western Balkan countries when it comes to the enlargement policy... That is why this year is crucial to us because we have several important events that will determine the future of each country individually and the region as a whole,“ Prime Minister Marković noted.

Minorities are special and lasting value in Montenegro, not political necessity

Speaking about the rights of minorities in Montenegro, Prime Minister Duško Markovioć expressed his satisfaction and gratitude for the contribution of minority parties to the development of Montenegro, saying that minorities are a special and lasting value in Montenegro, and not a political necessity.

"This Cabinet has a very significant number of ministers coming from minority parties. I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the Government and their commitment and professionalism. Minorities are our special and lasting value, and not a political necessity," said Prime Minister Marković.

The Prime Minister said that the two countries and governments should focus their efforts on infrastructure and other development projects to benefit the citizens of both countries.

When asked about the development of the areas inhabited by Albanians, the Prime Minister said that the policies of the Government of Montenegro are focused on the development of the areas that have not yet had all the opportunities for development, and pointed out:

"I am in particular referring to northern region of the country and the Ulcinj municipality, as our undisputed potential in the extreme south of the country. This year alone, several capital investments that will create hundreds or perhaps thousands of jobs, and which will position Ulcinj on the world tourist map, will be launched. We have launched a project with Karisma in the Ulcinj Riviera. Yesterday I was informed that the TUI Group, along with Karisma, will take over the Lido Hotel, and this year we will announce a tender for the construction of a high category hotel in Ada Bojana, in which renowned world companies and operators, such as TUI, Thomas Cook and Karisma, have shown interest."

We did not take centimetre of Kosovo's territory, Kosovo's leadership should make brave decision

Answering the question whether Montenegro might reconsider the border demarcation agreement with Kosovo, Prime Minister Duško Marković said that Montenegro is not going to do that, stressing that Montenegro did not take a centimetre of Kosovo's territory, that further negotiations are not possible and that delays do not result in finding solutions.

Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković reiterated at the end of the interview that the issue of demarcation can not jeopardise the future good relations between the two friendly countries and said he will call on in Pristina on Tuesday the Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to make a courageous decision:

"My departure to Pristina clearly shows what the interest of Montenegro is, what the interest of the Montenegrin Government is, and what my professional and personal interest is. Montenegro is a friend of Kosovo. I can advise, and I will say that at the very meeting, my friends in the Government of Kosovo, that it is necessary to have courage and look to the future. We need to reach decisions that are certain to offer citizens more than they have today. When Montenegro opted to recognise Kosovo, the political climate in Montenegro was rampant. Over eighty-five percent of citizens were against the Government’s decision to recognise Kosovo. However, we did it. I would say, that it is because of such a decision and a vision the Montenegrin leadership had at that time, that Kosovo enjoys a part of today's benefits as a country that has European and Euro-Atlantic perspective and stability. Therefore, we should not only look at what is happening in our own house or just one room of the house. It is necessary to look behind closed doors and make brave decisions. I believe that the leadership of Kosovo is capable of reaching such decisions and has a vision of the future of Kosovo," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.