Photo: MTI

Budapest, February 24 (MTI) – Montenegro’s place is in the European Union and the country is prepared to become a member of the bloc, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said after talks with his Montenegrin counterpart in Budapest on Friday.

“If we weren’t tied down and held back by our internal problems in the EU, Montenegro should be in the anti-chamber of, or just one step away from full-fledged membership,” Orban said at a joint press conference with Dusko Markovic. Montenegro’s early accession to the EU would be “fair, consistent, and desirable,” he added.

Concerning NATO, he noted that only four more NATO member states needed to ratify Montenegro’s accession to the military alliance.

Orbán called his talks “friendly and successful” and said that bilateral relations were not burdened with open issues. He said that Hungarian projects in Montenegro were prosperous, and the country would be a key destination for Hungarian investments in the Balkans in the next decade.

At the talks, Markovic extended an invitation to Orbán for a visit to Podgorica, which the Hungarian prime minister accepted.

Speaking at their press conference, Markovic thanked Orbán for Hungary’s support for Montenegro’s EU and NATO aspirations.

He said his country expected that the remaining four states would soon ratify Montenegro’s NATO accession and expressed hope that his country could attend the upcoming summit in May as the alliance’s 29th member state.

Concerning Montenegro’s foreign policy, Markovic said its focus was friendly relations with neighbours and promotion of cooperation and dialogue in the Western Balkans.

Markovic called bilateral relations excellent, and urged that the two countries’ mixed economic committee should meet as soon as possible. He voiced support for Eximbank’s 45 million euro loan programme to promote business development.

At the press conference, government members of the two countries signed bilateral accords, including one aimed at launching a direct flight between Budapest and Podgorica.

Source: MTI

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