JULY 23 2012 21:27h
On the second day of his visit to Montenegro on Monday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Parliament Speaker Ranko Krivokapic and Prime Minister Igor Luksic to discuss the political and economic situation in Montenegro and the region in light of the European integration processes and cooperation with the UN.
Ban congratulated Montenegro on opening accession talks with the European Union, and on the overall progress made since the country gained independence. He noted that Montenegro's success on the path towards EU membership was the result of stable policies and reforms in all areas, encouraging the government to continue successfully in the final phase of its European integration process, according to a government statement.
I am impressed by the progress achieved by Montenegro, the improved state of human rights and the clearly expressed will for cooperation with the neighbours. It is a confirmation that a small country can make a strong contribution to reducing tensions and that it can play an important role in the region, the UN secretary-general said.
He and his hosts agreed that Montenegro was a dedicated and reliable member of the United Nations and that cooperation would continue through UN programmes and Montenegro's support to UN-led peace missions.
On Monday afternoon, Ban arrived in Belgrade for his first visit to Serbia. He is due to meet with senior state officials, and Kosovo is expected to be one of the main topics of his talks.
After Serbia, the UN secretary-general is scheduled to visit Kosovo, and then Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia.(Hina)