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Montenegro and Slovenia share a common past and a common future: as friends and allies, as equitable states, members of our European family

At the invitation of President Jakov Milatović, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Nataša Pirc Musar, was on an official visit to Montenegro. The Slovenian President was received with military honours by her host, and their talks today focused on Montenegro's efforts on the path towards the European Union and the importance of the earliest possible integration of the Western Balkan countries into Euro-Atlantic integration for the stability of the region.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia thanked the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatović, for the warm welcome and for the honour of being the first guest he has received on an official visit since taking office. The Slovenian President and the host assessed the relations between their two countries as excellent and agreed that there was still a lot of potential for further development, especially in the area of economic cooperation, which is why the President is accompanied by a business delegation that will take part in the Slovenian–Montenegrin business forum. An important point of contact between the two countries is their participation in the Brdo–Brijuni process. This year's meeting will be hosted by President Jakov Milatović, and the two sides stress that this meeting of the leaders of the Western Balkans region is essential – they want to continue the legacy of their predecessors and respectfully give it a new impetus and new outlook.

"I came to Montenegro with a clear message to you, Mr President, and to your people: Slovenia, a member of the European Union for 20 years, is a sincere friend and ally of Montenegro and firmly supports your further European path and is ready to help you on it," Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar told at press conference after her meeting with the Montenegrin President, underlining that in the current extremely challenging and unstable situation in the world, we should not forget the Western Balkans. She is convinced that stability in the region cannot be taken for granted and that the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union and the European value system is a decisive factor for regional stability and also an important factor for overall European stability.

The Slovenian President stressed that, as regards the process of moving towards the European Union, the countries must achieve the Union's standards, adopt certain reforms and abide by the agreements reached, while at the same time the European Union, as an experienced and well-intentioned leader, must also help these countries. She believes that a warmer attitude from the Union would be an important motivation for the countries in the association process, as a feeling of "being forgotten" or lack of interest in joining the Union could lead to spreading instability and a cooling of regional and inter-neighbourly cooperation. The more the Western Balkans region is divided, the more the countries will be susceptible to different influences, including those with insincere intentions, she warned.

"Montenegro and Slovenia share a rich common past and a bright common future: as friends and allies, as equitable states, members of our European family," the Slovenian President summarised the relationship between the two countries and their leaders.

Later in the visit, President Pirc Musar and President Milatović planted a tree of friendship in the park of the residence of the Montenegrin President, and the Slovenian President, accompanied by her host, laid a wreath at the Memorial to the Partisan Fighters on Gorica Hill. In the afternoon, she will meet with the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Milojko Spajić, and will conclude the first day of her official visit in Cetinje at a gala dinner hosted in her honour by President Milatović.

Tomorrow, President Pirc Musar and President Milatović will attend the opening of the Adriatic Forum on the Environment, Society and Governance (the ESG Adria Summit) in Tivat, where they will present their vision for the future of the Western Balkans region, and will also visit the town of Kotor. On Thursday morning, the Slovenian President and her host will open the Slovenian–Montenegrin Business Forum and meet with businessmen. Together they will visit the monument to France Prešeren in Podgorica, and President Pirc Musar will also meet with members of the Slovenian community living in Montenegro. She will conclude her official visit with a meeting with the President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Andrija Mandić.