Montenegro's president welcomes Bulgaria putting Western Balkans as key item on EU agenda

Montenegro's president welcomes Bulgaria putting Western Balkans as key item on EU agenda

Hosted in Sofia by his Bulgarian counterpart Roumen Radev, Montenegrin president Filip Vujanović has expressed satisfaction that Bulgaria has made the EU integration of the Western Balkans an important item on the EU agenda.

Vujanović's visit to the Bulgarian capital on January 15 came just a few days after the country formally took over the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.

Bulgarian head of state Radev said that the country welcomed Montenegro's successes on the road to European integration.

Montenegro presented a good example in the Western Balkans of how a country proceeded with profound and serious reforms, and how it was achieving a good future for itself and for its neighbours, Radev said.

He reiterated that the main priority of Bulgaria's EU Presidency was the prospect of the integration of the Western Balkans.

Radev said that he and Vujanović agreed that the prosperity could exist only when there was security and stability in the region.

"We also discussed many issues concerning our bilateral relations," Radev said.

"It is very important for these relations to have an active dialogue at the highest political level. We show with your visit a very important feature of the entire organization of our Presidency and the priority theme for the Western Balkans. Communication is very important," the Bulgarian president said.

Radev said that it is even more important that the theme for the Western Balkans leads to increased communication between the countries of the region.

"Both of us are not satisfied with the level of bilateral trade. It could be bigger. We will work for the region's connectivity. It is important to us that our citizens should be able to travel better, more regularly and more freely. From now on we will strengthen our contacts regarding investment, business, education and culture," Radev said.

Vujanović said that he was glad that Bulgaria had been able to achieve clear goals for its Presidency in its communication with Brussels.

"For Montenegro, and I also believe in the other Western Balkan countries, it is possible to maximize their action on integration. I am glad that Bulgaria has succeeded in achieving clear goals for this Presidency in its communication with Brussels and very clear steps," Vujanović said.

Brexit would not delay the accession calendar of the Western Balkan countries to the EU. Budget support for the Western Balkans would continue, Vujanović said.../IBNA

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