JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE
NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL JENS STOLTENBERG AND MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OF MONTENEGRO IGOR LUKŠIĆ
BRUSSELS, 2 DECEMBER 2015
Video recording: Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Montenegro Igor Lukšić
Ladies and gentlemen,
Very good morning to you, and indeed good morning for Montenegro.
It is really a great pleasure, a great honour to be here today at the historic moment for my country. Together with Defence Minister Milica Pejanović – Đurišić, we took part in the NAC meeting and this is indeed a historical milestone for Montenegro after restoring independence nine years ago, and after opening the accession talks with EU three and a half years ago. Today has come the day that Montenegro receives membership invitation and this is definitely a long waited decision, but also recognition of very hard work of the past nine years since we restored our independence, but also since we started with the Partnership for Peace at the summit in Riga.
This is also, I believe, an important day for the Alliance, as Secretary General already said.
We owe our gratitude to all NATO member states, to you Mr Secretary General and your staff, for tremendous support you have given us throughout this process.
But, I would also like to be very clear today– the invitation does not mean the end of the process, it means the beginning of the next stage and reforms will and have to continue. We are aware of all the obligations we are having in the accession period, and we stand ready to successfully complete them. At the same time, we will continue our national reforms, especially in the area of the rule of law. And also we will continue our efforts in fighting corruption and organised crime, but also building ever stronger public support for membership.
I believe this invitation is a great encouragement for all the countries that aspire to join NATO. It is particularly good news for the Western Balkans, because another Western Balkan country as part of NATO means a strong boost for security and stability of the entire region.
I would like to thank our neighbours for supporting us on our path towards NATO.
This is definitely a great day for our country. Definitely a new beginning and we will continue to be as diligent in the future in fulfilling our obligations as we have been up to now.
Source: Government of Montenegro