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Prime Minister Marković speaks in Parliament about Draft Law on Ratification of North Atlantic Treaty

Prime Minister Marković speaks in Parliament about Draft Law on Ratification of North Atlantic Treaty
Published date 28.04.2017 16:17 | Author PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (28 April 2017) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković presented earlier today to the Parliament of Montenegro the Draft Law on Ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty and the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Greece and Turkey.

“This Parliament of Montenegro, these MPs elected by citizens in October last year – have a historic privilege to make a decision today that will be remembered for as long as Montenegro and Montenegrins shall live; for as long as Montenegro and all other nations inhabiting it shall live,“ the Prime Minister said at the beginning of his speech.

Prime Minister Marković underlined that this day today is written on the brightest page in the history of Montenegro.

“Alongside 1 July 1878 when the Berlin Congress discussed the international acknowledgement of the independence of Montenegro as 27th state of that time; alongside 13 July 1941 when Montenegro became a part of the great antifascist coalition that defended global civilization; alongside 21 May 2006 when the people of Montenegro decided to restore the statehood of their fatherland, taken away by grave injustice and fraud almost an entire century ago... Today all these, and many other bright dates in our history, are united in the decision on the accession of Montenegro to the North Atlantic Alliance – the club of 28 states representing leading power and value of the modern world,” he underscored.

The Prime Minister noted that official relations between Montenegro and NATO were established on 29 November 2006, that in the meantime numerous reforms have been implemented, and that Montenegro received an invitation to join NATO on 2 December 2015.

“In the previous 16 months, all the complex procedures in 27 member states of NATO have been finished; it only remains that the Spanish Senate ratifies the Protocol, which will take place over the next ten days. The aim of passing this Law in our Parliament is to provide the final conditions for full membership of Montenegro. After the entry into force of this Law, and after Secretary General Stoltenberg's call, we shall deliver our instrument of ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty to the Government of the United States of America, which is the depositary of the Treaty. This will be also official date of Montenegrin NATO membership,” said the Prime Minister.

Expressing gratitude to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and the member states for their support and swift and efficient ratification of the Protocol, the Prime Minister said that by joining the Alliance, Montenegro will not get something that is not deserved.

“By joining the club of 28 leading countries of the world, Montenegro will not get something that is not deserved; something that does not belong to it. In this respect – hard, committed and determined work of this generation of politicians, especially over the last ten years, has been of paramount importance. But, in a larger context, historically speaking, all those previous generations of our people made our positioning among the most developed are responsible possible: fighters and warriors, statesmen and authors from all walks of life. All those generations, at least over the last two centuries – not to go further in history, which were always on the right side of history; which endured terrible sacrifices in defending the achievements of civilization in two world wars in the course of the last century; and whom great powers deprived of a fair acknowledgement of these sacrifices... It is today that by entry into the privileged club, we get the right to a fair settlement. Therefore, this is an opportunity to pay tribute to the Montenegrin heroes who perished and whose names and deeds remain embedded in the foundations of our state, its survival and prosperity,” PM Marković stated.

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The Prime Minister reiterated that the entire country and all the citizens will benefit from joining the Alliance.

“NATO and the European Union have been the guarantors of stability, security and cooperation among European nations, as well as the main basis for peace, economic and social prosperity that Europe has achieved since the World War II until today. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty clearly stipulates that whatever threatens security of a member state threatens the security of all. NATO is therefore a system of collective security which, through a consensus in decision-making, allows all member states to maintain national specificities and nurture diversity while protecting common values. It is an organization in which both big and small members feel that their strategic national interests are protected. Montenegro's membership in NATO will be a long-term guarantee of our sovereignty and territorial integrity, security of our state and its citizens. Membership represents a huge incentive for the further development of the country, the wind in our sails in the implementation of reforms on the path towards the EU and the starting point for strengthening durable and sustainable stability of our country, economy and society. Stable political and social system provides a favourable environment for business and stepping up of economic development and guarantees the attraction of foreign investments,” said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed that the membership in NATO will have a stabilizing effect on the Western Balkan region, adding that the country, as a NATO member state, will strongly advocate a policy of openness in the region.

“Euro-Atlantic and European integration processes are the key to a lasting transformation of the region from the “Balkan powder keg“ into a part of democratic Europe and an oasis of peace, stability and economic prosperity. Therefore, as a new member of the Alliance, Montenegro will strongly support the integration efforts of Western Balkan countries – precisely bearing in mind the fact that NATO is a community of consensus where the voice of all is equally heard, regardless of the size and position in international relations. As a country that has gone through the open door of NATO, we will keep the door open for those who meet the conditions and wish to become members,” the Prime Minister emphasised.

Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded by sending a message to the citizens of Montenegro who oppose the country's membership in NATO.

“Dear fellow citizens of Montenegro, opponents of our membership in NATO, I have no illusion that with these few sentences I would be able to change your attitude. It is not my intention. I feel however that obligation, as Prime Minister who puts forward the law, the effects of which apply equally to all citizens of Montenegro, to communicate the following: Through membership in NATO, Montenegro provides for every citizen a new, great and equal chance to make your life safer and better. These benefits will be felt by ALL of us – very quickly and very visibly, regardless of our political or any other opinion. On behalf of the more prosperous Montenegro, I invite you to most rationally, without superfluous emotions, turn towards the future, being responsible to yourself and primarily to your children – and observe the arguments for today's decision of the Parliament,” Prime Minister Marković noted.

Remembering the innocent victims in Murino during the NATO bombing in 1999, the Prime Minister said that we should not forget the fact that Montenegro was then, against its own will, drawn into a tragic conflict of Serbia with NATO forces, and that nor it is only owing to the extraordinary diplomatic efforts of the then leadership that the country avoided the unforeseeable consequences.

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“In order that this would never happen again; in order that we would be able to decide the fate of our country and people – we restored its independence and joined the most powerful forces of our time! I invite the present Members of Parliament to make a historic decision and support the Bill on the Ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty and the Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of Greece and Turkey,” the Prime Minister of Montenegro concluded.

The Parliament session, which took place in Old Royal Capital of Cetinje, attended by the Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović, members of the Montenegrin Cabinet, former Speakers of the Parliament Radivoje Brajović, Velisav Vuksanović and Darko Pajović, President of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Milo Đukanović, President of the Albanian Alternative Đerđ Camaj, President of the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts Dragan Vukčević, President of the Supreme Court of Montenegro Vesna Medenica, Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stanković, Special Public Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić, Protector of Human Rights and Freedoms ŠućkoK Baković, President of the Senate of the State Audit institution Milan Dabović, Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro Radoje Žugić, rectors of the Montenegrin universities, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited in Montenegro, representatives of international organisations in Montenegro and representatives of other state institutions and the media.

The Parliament of Montenegro passed Friday afternoon the Law on the Ratification of the North Atlantic Treaty and Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Greece and Turkey. Forty-six out of 46 MPs present voted in favour of the Law.

You can download the Prime Minister's speech in the Parilament of Montenegro here.