PM Đukanović attends signing of NATO Accession Protocol of Montenegro

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    Brussels, Belgium (20 May 2016) – PM Đukanović attends signing of NATO Accession Protocol of Montenegro… PM Đukanović attends signing of NATO Accession Protocol of Montenegro

    PHOTO GALLERY: PM Đukanović attends signing of NATO Accession Protocol of Montenegro

    Milo Đukanović, PRIME MINISTER OF MONTENEGRO:
    (Introductory remarks at the NATO Ministerial Meeting on the occasion of signing of the Accession Protocol, Brussels, 19 May 2016)

    Distinguished Secretary General,
    Honorable Excellencies,

    It is an honor to have the opportunity to address you at this important moment for my country. Equally important as 2 December 2015, when you extended from this same place an invitation to Montenegro to start the talks on accession to the Alliance. We are especially honored that the signing the Accession Protocol will be done at the level of Foreign Ministers, and that in this manner you have expressed high appreciation for the efforts of Montenegro in accomplishing the last steps on its path towards the fully-fledged membership.
    Today’s ceremony at NATO headquarters is especially symbolic for Montenegro, because it coincides with the celebration of the tenth anniversary of restoration of independence. This is the best confirmation of the fact that on 21 May 2006, we stepped courageously and thoughtfully onto the right path. Today we can be proud of our achievements. Ten years later, Montenegro is just one step away from membership in NATO, and has well advanced towards the European Union. This means that we had a vision when we renewed our state, and that we set well the priorities; in order to seriously fulfill our obligations so as to be able to reach those goals.
    Alike then, today we have a strong will and we are equally committed and ready to fulfill the standards and adopt common values of the countries around this table. We want a stable, democratic and developed multi-ethnic Montenegro within the Euro-Atlantic community of nations. We want the progress of Montenegrin society, which will provide an opportunity to our citizens, especially young people, with whom rests the progress and future of Montenegro. Integration processes of our country are unstoppable, and there is no alternative. They are already part of our everyday life, a future that has begun and that we shall embrace.
    That is why we are fully committed to continuing reforms, especially in the field of rule of law. We shall continue to achieve good results in combating corruption and organized crime. We shall ensure majority support for Montenegro’s membership in NATO. Also, we shall continue working on the reform of the defense sector. We are committed to working continuously and tirelessly in order to emancipate our society in order to prepare it for life in a united European and Euro-Atlantic community of the 21st century.

    Ladies and Gentlemen,
    I believe that this is a significant event for our neighbors as well. Montenegro’s getting closer to the Alliance and its upcoming membership will bring about the strengthening of stability and security in our region and in the wider environment. Our neighbors will get another friend in the Alliance, and NATO will get a steady promoter of its values in the Western Balkans which has been falling behind throughout the past. Montenegro’s membership in NATO has a wider geopolitical dimension and further positive effects.
    We are aware that these are sensitive and challenging times for the Alliance. We understand that collective security is more important than ever, that solidarity and collectiveness are preconditions for its strengthening. It is our great honor as well as an obligation to acquire precisely in these times the right to sit at the same table with you. Although we shall not have the right to vote until the membership becomes formal, our voice will be heard. It will carry the message that Montenegro is ready to share responsibility with the Allies, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with you not only in good times but also in difficult times and decisions.

    Honorable Ministers,
    I would like to use this opportunity to thank once again to you and your governments, and also to you, Mr. Stoltenberg and your team, for being there for us at this stage of integration, and for providing unconditional support for Montenegro’s path towards NATO. This is our joint success because your advice, suggestions, support and assistance are built into all of our results. Without you, we would not have been here.

    Dear friends,
    By signing of the Protocol, the conditions are met for launching of the next stage – the process of its ratification in national parliaments. It is our expectation that the Member States complete the ratification as soon as possible, so that Montenegro would become a fully-fledged member of the Alliance by mid-next year. Rest assured that we shall give you enough rationale to complete that work without delay.

    I look forward to our next meeting in Warsaw where Montenegro will take part as an invitee for the first time and be around the table with 28 allies, soon to become the 29th member of NATO.
    You can count on us at any time.

    Thank you for your attention!

    Source: Government of Montenegro