Tuesday, 09 October 2018 17:05

Meetings held with the Lithuania-Montenegro parliamentary Friendship Group

A series of meetings were held in the Parliament of Montenegro during the official visit of the Lithuania-Montenegro parliamentary Friendship Group. Following the reception with the President of the Parliament, meetings were held with the Montenegro-Lithuania parliamentary Friendship Group, the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants, and the Committee on European Relations.

Vice President of the Parliament and Chair of the Montenegro-Lithuania parliamentary Friendship Group Mr Genci Nimanbegu voiced his pleasure with the first official meeting of the two friendship groups.  The interlocutors agreed that the cooperation between Montenegro and Lithuania was most significant in the defence field, and they also discussed specific ways for improvement of this cooperation, through the NATO Centre of Excellence and Baltic Defence College.  Bearing in mind the high level of economic freedoms in Lithuania, there was interest shown in learning about the Lithuanian good practice in this field. There was also voiced expectation that in the upcoming period Montenegro would generate greater interest of investors from the Baltic states, and that foreign trade exchange would be intensified. Furthermore, at the meeting, they also exchanged experiences on the electoral systems of the two countries, their parliamentary practices, as well as the current political situation. A return visit of the Montenegro-Lithuania parliamentary Friendship Group was also announced.

During the meeting with the Committee on International Relations and Emigrants, its Chairperson Mr Andrija Nikolić expressed special gratitude to the Lithuanians for their selfless support to Montenegro during the NATO accession process. Mr Nikolić voiced his expectation that in the coming period Lithuania would remain a strong promoter of the EU enlargement policy, pointing out that Montenegro was irreversibly on its path towards the EU membership. The Committee members referred to the period of the Lithuanian presidency of the Council of the EU, when Montenegro opened five negotiation chapters, including the especially significant chapters 23 and 24. The interlocutors voiced their satisfaction with the fact that high-level inter-state cooperation was established in the previous period and expressed mutual interest in further improvement of the already good and meaningful relations. They also exchanged views on the current geopolitical situation, with an emphasis on the political situation in the Western Balkans and in the Baltic states. The Lithuanian MPs have particularly welcomed the clear support of Montenegrin citizens for the European and Euro-Atlantic integration, pointing out that the European Union held special significance because it represented a system fostering democratic values and encouraging their development.

At a meeting with the Committee on European Integration, its Chairperson Mr Adrijan Vuksanović, while highlighting the friendly relations between the two countries, recalled that Lithuania was among the first countries to recognise Montenegro's independence after the referendum in 2006 and noted similar historical experience of the two countries on their path towards the EU membership. Mr Vuksanović said that Montenegro had always been a factor of stability in the region, and that, by fostering good-neighbourly relations, multinational and multi-confessional harmony, it was already appreciating the European values. Chair of the Friendship Group Mr Gintaras Vaičekauskas praised Montenegro for its previous achievements in meeting its main foreign policy goal, which was reflected in obtaining full membership. During their conversation, they considered the modes of cooperation aimed at better and closer linking of the two parliamentary committees on European affairs.

The delegation of the Lithuania-Montenegro parliamentary Friendship Group consisted of Mr Gintaras Vaičekauskas, Chair of the Group, and Mr Edmundas Pupins, member of the Group. The meetings were also attended by the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to Montenegro H.E. Ms Rasa Kairienė.