Update No: 115 - (21/12/06)
The naïve newcomer
Montenegro is a new nation that needs the world's support it is getting. It may
be only the latest, 192nd, member of the UN. But it is a member and can expect
all the collective security it deserves.
It is getting it - an utterly marvellous place on the Adriatic, with a great
landscape and a great seascape, a formidable architecture and a splendid
position, astride the relevant avenues for foreigners to the Balkans and for the
hinterland to the Adriatic.
Greece, Montenegro Establish Formal Relations
There is one country which could give it good advice - Greece. It is the fulcrum
of the Western world, to which Montenegro aspires to belong.
Greece and Montenegro on December 18th signed a protocol formally establishing
diplomatic relations between the two south-eastern European countries.
The agreement, signed by Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen and his Greek
counterpart Dora Bakoyannis at a brief ceremony at the Greek Foreign Ministry,
paves the way for an exchange of ambassadors and establishment of embassies in
Athens and Podgorica. Ten countries have so far opened embassies in the
Last week Montenegro, along with Serbia and Bosnia, was invited to join the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Partnership for Peace programme, considered
a stepping stone to membership. In October it signed a Stabilization and
Association Agreement with the European Union, which it also aspires to join.
Greece is a well established member of both NATO and the E.U.
Bakoyannis said she hoped the agreement would lead to "further development
of relations, including economic relations, between the two countries."
Rocen also met with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Development Minister
Dimitris Sioufas on his one-day visit, his first to Greece since independence.
The Vatican in diplomatic relations with Montenegro
The penultimate accolade has arrived. The Holy See has established
diplomatic relations with the republic of Montenegro, the Vatican press office
announced. In the wake of their mutual recognition, the Holy See will now have
an apostolic nunciature in Montenegro, and the Balkan country will have an
embassy to the Holy See, a Vatican communiqué has said.
The note recalled that "as Yugoslavia disintegrated between 1991 and 1995,
Montenegro remained united to Serbia. In 2003 it adhered to the Union of Serbia
and Montenegro, which succeeded the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a union
which was dissolved by the declaration of separation by the Montenegrin
Parliament on June 3, 2006, after a national referendum on May 21," the
The Holy See recognized the republic of Montenegro last June 19.
The country has two Catholic ecclesiastical circumscriptions: the Archdiocese of
Bar, which is immediately subject to the Holy See and has 11,500 Catholics,
mostly Albanians; and the Diocese of Cattaro (Kotor), with 10,000 Catholics,
With the addition of Montenegro, the Holy See now maintains diplomatic relations
with 175 countries. It also has ties with the Russian Federation, the Palestine
Liberation Organization, the European Union and the Order of Malta.
The ultimate accolade: Montenegro joins US State Partnership Programme
The Papacy is important. But the US is rather more so, even when it is run
by an utterly obnoxious administration, the most hated in its history.
Emergency response and coastal management are two potential areas of
co-operation between the Montenegrin military and the Maine National Guard.
Montenegrin officers and soldiers may soon be heading to the United States for
training. On December 7th, the newly independent country joined the State
Partnership Programme (SPP), which pairs 55 countries with the National Guard in
various US states and territories. Montenegro is partnering with Maine.
"This is an historic step which will start strong bilateral partnership in
the defence field between Montenegro and the United States," US National
Guard Director Steven Blum said as he marked the occasion. "I'm very glad
about the co-operation between the state of Maine and the state of Montenegro.
It will further strengthen the co-operation as a whole between Montenegro and
the United States," said Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic.
The SPP allows Montenegrin officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers to
receive training in Maine. Reciprocal exchanges of soldiers and experiences will
take place, along with military unit co-operation and civil sector experience
exchanges. Emergency response and coastal management are two areas of particular
According to a report by the American Forces Press Services, the Maine National
Guard can potentially advise the Montenegrin military as it makes the transition
from a conscription-based to an all-volunteer force, reduces its troop numbers
and upgrades its Yugoslav-era equipment.
"Both of our nations share common goals of democracy, responsible global
conduct and strong national security," Blum said.
Montenegro's military needs US support and assistance in meeting its
international obligations, said the chief of general staff of the Montenegrin
Armed Forces, General Jovan Lakcevic. "In Maine we see a partner that will
help us to accomplish all our tasks," he said.
Following meetings with Vujanovic, Defence Minister Boro Vucinic and Foreign
Minister Milan Rocen, Blum and his delegation attended a joint police Special
Anti-terrorist Unit brigade exercise at the Danilovgrad Barracks. Using
helicopters, members of the elite unit demonstrated parts of their drill.
Blum gave "very good" marks to the Montenegrin soldiers and equipment.
"This is excellent progress and a very good unit. This is really something
that a newly independent state army should do. They have leaders with vision and
General Lakcevic leads this force in the right direction. It will be model in
the region, with regard to stability," Blum said.
Co-operation between the US National Guard and Montenegro's military will be
boosted further once the two countries sign a Status of Forces Agreement and
reach a deal on use of infrastructure, both sides noted.
Qatar-Montenegro diplomatic ties established
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Montenegro signed an agreement to
establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level in a move to
strengthen the existing bonds of friendly relations and develop bilateral
cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields, website
An agreement was signed for Qatar by its permanent representative to the UN
Ambassador extraordinary, plenipotentiary Nassir Abdul Aziz Al Nasr and for
Montenegro by its permanent representative to the UN Ambassador extraordinary,
plenipotentiary Nebojsa Kaludjerovic. The Qatar and Montenegrin governments
offered assurances that the establishment of diplomatic relations responds to
the national interests of both states and will consolidate the strengthening of
international peace and cooperation, the statement said.
Montenegro signs Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
Montenegro has signed up to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT),
bringing the total number of signatures to 177 and the total number of
ratifications to 137, Mnnews reported.
The CTBT bans any nuclear weapons test explosions or any other nuclear
explosions. Drafted at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and adopted by
the General Assembly on September 10th, 1996, the Treaty was opened for
signature on September 24, 1996 at the United Nations headquarters in New York,
it was reported.