Djukanovic to Meet Merkel on her Home Turf


News
04 May 15

Djukanovic to Meet Merkel on her Home Turf

Milo Djukanovic, the Montenegrin Prime Minister, is to visit Berlin this week for his first-ever official meeting with Angela Merkel in her home country.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN

Podgorica

The veteran leader of Montenegro is to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his official visit to Berlin on Wednesday, mainly to discuss the country’s prospects of joining NATO and the EU.

Although the government has not yet confirmed the programme of the visit, media reports said Djukanovic would most likely speak before the Committee for the European Union of the German parliament, the Bundestag.

“Djukanovic has asked to meet the German Chancellor and the Foreign Minister, and he received a promise from Berlin that will get the meetings,” the daily newspaper Vijesti reported on Tuesday.

According to reports, Podgorica has high expectations of the first-ever meeting of Djukanovic and Merkel in Germany – from support for important infrastructure projects, such as the new highway, to the country’s EU and NATO accession bids.

After leading the country for nearly a quarter-century, Djukanovic has never made an official visiti to Berlin, nor has Merkel visited Montenegro. Their brief meetings took place only on the margins of events such as NATO, EU or Western Balkan summits.

His immediate predecessor, Igor Luksic, who was the Prime minister until 2012, met Merkel in the first months of his term.

Critics of the government said Merkel’s earlier apparent reluctance to meet Djukanovic showed Germany was not satisfied with the state of democracy and the rule of law in Montenegro.

In response to a query from a group of German Bundestag deputies, Merkel’s office last May said progress in Montenegro’s fight against organised crime and corruption had been limited.

Germany is also considered to be among those states, alongside France, which felt that the time was not right for Montenegro to be brought into NATO by the and of 2015.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)