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Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s press statement following his meeting with Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

I respectfully welcome the Prime Minister of Montenegro and his delegation. We have just completed friendly and successful negotiations, the starting point of which was already favourable. Hungary regards Montenegro as a successful country, major investments from Hungary have been made in the country, and Hungarian enterprises are performing their operations there with success and satisfaction. Compared to the size of the country, Montenegro is also visited by many Hungarian tourists, who can see for themselves the extent of development that it has achieved in recent years. So the starting point for our negotiations today was also mutual respect. Furthermore, the Prime Minister recently formed a successful government, which is a significant achievement, as these days it is difficult to form a successful government anywhere in Europe – either in the East or the West. Thirdly, the starting point of today’s negotiations was also favourable because, on principle and due to our similar histories, from the very beginning Hungary has supported Montenegro’s accession to both NATO and the EU. Relations between the two countries are not burdened by any difficulties, and in fact the cooperation that has developed in recent years has given a major boost to relations between us. We were happy to support Montenegro’s accession to NATO, and their success is our success, because in the end Montenegro has been invited to join NATO. Although four countries are yet to ratify the agreement, we believe that this is a huge success. If you look at the map, you can see just how big a success this is; we would like to experience similar joint success at the end of EU negotiations, because we are convinced that Montenegro’s place is in the EU. And if our hands were not tied and we were not slowed down by internal problems within the EU, Montenegro would to all intents and purposes be in the antechamber, or just a single step from full membership. Because if someone goes to Montenegro they will see that the country is indeed ready for membership. Hungary regards it as fair and ethical – as well as necessary for European peace and security – for Montenegro to be linked to and become a full member of the European Union as soon as possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are convinced that the peace and security of the European continent cannot be established without the peace and stability of the Balkans – which in turn can only be achieved through NATO and European Union membership. As far as economic cooperation is concerned, this was also one of the key topics of our negotiations, and as you have seen from the signing ceremony a little earlier, in this respect the most important thing is that we have finally succeeded in overcoming all the obstacles – including the final ones – to a new direct passenger air route being launched between the two countries’ capitals. So it is hoped that the citizens of the two countries will be linked by a direct passenger air route as early as this spring.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would also like to highlight the fact that Hungarian investments in Montenegro are particularly successful, and Hungarian enterprises have not reported any negative experiences at all. We feel strongly that Montenegro is a place that is pleased to welcome investments from Hungary. I say this to the Hungarians and to the Hungarian press: you can see the Hungarian economic indices, the upcoming decade will be the decade of Hungarian capital investment in the Balkan region. And in this respect Montenegro is a priority target and a key ally.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I think it is important to tell you that I have received an invitation from the Prime Minister, which we have accepted. Accordingly, on the first available occasion following the ratification of Montenegro’s accession to NATO, it will be a pleasure and an honour to travel to your homeland, to Podgorica and Montenegro.

Thank you for your kind attention.