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POMPEO SAID 04. 10. 2019.   >>  18:26 0


US remains with Montenegro as partner and ally

It is of strategic importance for the US and the European Union (EU) to be present in the Western Balkans, so as not to leave space to those who do not share our common principles and values, said the Prime Minister of Montenegro, DuskoMarkovic.

Pompeo, on the other hand, said the US would continue to have Montenegro as a partner and ally in the future.

Pompeo arrived on an official visit to Montenegro earlier today and also met with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic.

Markovic said Pompeo’s visit is a proof that the US values our alliance and constructive role in the region and beyond.

"We appreciate the support that Pompeo has shown to Montenegro in EU integration, and praise for the reforms it has achieved. Montenegro will continue reforms in the areas of the rule of law, the fight against corruption and crime, protecting journalists, at an unprecedented pace primarily because of us, but also because of the EU. We will continue to fight human trafficking,"Markovic said.

He said that during the meeting he received assurances that the United States of America (USA) will continue to support the institutions of Montenegro in the fight against all forms of organized crime.

Markovic is confident that by 2024, and perhaps sooner, Montenegro will reach a commonly agreed target of two percent of defense spending.

Pompeo congratulated Montenegro on joining NATO, calling this visit, the first since the restoration of independence, a historic one.

"We are witnessing Montenegro's leadership in confronting the dangers of the 21st century. Thanks to our cooperation in cyber security with Montenegro, we have been able to develop protection against the latest Russian software that protects billions of devices around the world," Pompeo said.

Montenegro, he said, not only supports regional stability as a NATO member, but also shares US priorities across the spectrum of foreign policy issues.

He added that US diplomats in Montenegro are focused on fighting corruption and organized crime, as well as freedom of the media.

"They will help you to get the results. Earlier this year, I met Oliver Lakic, a journalist who was shot in the leg for reporting on cigarette smuggling. Such attacks on journalists are attacks on democracy and the common principles of NATO. The perpetrators of the attacks will be charged,”Pompeo said.

He also said that in this moment more than 50 US companies operates in Montenegro: "And we very much want to increase that number."

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