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Thaçi in Podgorica: Relations with Montenegro, a good example to the Region

Podgorica, 16 January 2015 – Podgorica, 16 January 2015 - The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, today started the first official visit to Montenegro, where he met with senior representatives of this state.

Initially, he was received in a meeting by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro, Igor Lukshiq. The two Deputy Prime Ministers discussed about deepening bilateral and regional cooperation.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi expressed his gratitude to Mr. Lukshiq for the support that Montenegro has given Kosovo in strengthening statehood, initially by recognition of independence, and subsequently with membership in various regional organizations.
 
Thaçi emphasized the need for mutual cooperation in the common Euro-Atlantic agenda, supporting Montenegro`s complete membership in NATO. During the meeting was also discussed of more concrete cooperation projects between the two countries
 
“The Republic of Kosovo and Montenegro have similar visions for NATO and European Union membership. In this regard, this membership is not only in the interest of Montenegro, but also in the interest of our region`s long-term security", stated Mr. Thaçi.
 
In this meeting the two Deputy Prime Ministers discussed the Kosovo-Montenegro border delineation process and committed to concluded it within the year.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi, before the journalists, emphasized that the meetings of working groups on border delineation will be intensified.
 
“Such agreement would be proof of the good relations of our two countries and would give a good message of cooperation to the region" stated Thaçi, adding that the border delineation process also implies another fulfilment of European values.
 
“We have an early friendship with the Montenegrin people, before we were states. Therefore, our interstate relations should serve as an example to the region”, continued Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi.
 
On the other hand, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Igor Lukshiq congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi for the achievements of Kosovo.
 
He stated that Montenegro will continue to support the Republic of Kosovo in all fields of cooperation, particularly in the exchange of experiences related to Euro-Atlantic processes.
 
“With this meeting we are continuing the good relations that we have built. Last year we signed nine agreements, whereas many others are in the process of being signed. Good neighbourly relations are a condition to the success of European integration", continued the Deputy Prime Minister.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi continued his meeting with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milo Gjukanoviq, with whom he discussed on intensifying economic and infrastructure relations between the two countries.
 
During this meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi and the Montenegrin Prime Minister agreed to continue building roads and railway lines which connect these two countries.
 
This, according to them, will promote trade exchanges between the two countries and will contribute to economic development.
 
They also discussed about the situation of Albanians in Montenegro. Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi emphasized that Albanians in Montenegro and Montenegrins in Kosovo are a bridge between the two countries, and announced that very soon the Montenegrin community will be part of the constitutional protection in the Republic of Kosovo.
 
Moreover, Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi met with the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanoviq, with whom he discussed interstate relations.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi was also hosted in a meeting by the President of the Parliament, Mr. Ranko Krivokopiq, with whom he discussed about intensifying cooperation between the two Assemblies. Moreover, they discussed with regard to higher interaction of parliamentary diplomacy.
 
Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi, during his stay in Podgorica also met with key representatives of Montenegrin businesses, whereby he invoked for higher trade exchanges between Kosovo and Montenegro businesses.
 
“We have established incentives for your investments, therefore would like to see more investments of Montenegrin businesses in Kosovo and Kosovo businesses in Montenegro", stated Mr. Thaçi, during the meeting with 15 of key business representatives in Montenegro.
 
Whereas, in late afternoon, Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi will meet with key Albanian political representatives in Ulqin, with whom he will discuss Albanian`s current situation and further advancement of their rights in Montenegro.
 
This is the first official visit of Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi to this neighboring country and is being followed with great interest by the media and the public opinion in Montenegro.