milo đukanović.jpg
Photograph: EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar and his Montenegrin counterpart Milo Djukanovic agreed in Ljubljana on Monday that the bilateral relations needed to be advanced further and that support must be given to Euro-Alantic integration in the region and Montenegro's NATO membership bid.

Djukanovic's official visit to Ljubljana, arranged before the riots and protests by the Opposition started in Podgorica, was his first visit to Slovenia in five years.

Cerar told a joint news conference that Slovenia supported Montenegro and other countries in the region on their journey towards Euro-Atlantic institutions, and advocated stronger economic ties, notably in the industry, energy and tourism. The Slovenian prime minister said the current migrant crisis should not jeopardise European prospects of the countries of Southeast Europe.

Djukanovic thanked Cerar for the support Slovenia was giving to Montenegro's aspirations, underscoring that in the past ten years his country had been generating a GDP growth of 3% or more a year, despite the stagnation and recession in the neighbourhood.

"This is proof that we are on the right track," Djukanovic said.

He also held talks with Slovenian President Borut Pahor, Parliament Speaker Milan Berglez and Ljubljana mayor Zoran Jankovic.

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