Milatovic: We appeal for de-escalation in northern Kosovo, we welcome Belgrade's efforts

Jakov Milatović
Source: Kosovo Online

Montenegro is a friend of Serbia, and Serbia is a friend of Montenegro, Montenegrin President Jakov Milatovic stated during his visit to Belgrade, emphasizing that Serbia and Montenegro are turning a new page in their relationship. He expressed his concern about tensions in northern Kosovo and called for de-escalation, while also welcoming Belgrade's efforts in that regard.

Milatovic stated that there are topics on which two countries do not have the same views and that the issue of Kosovo is one of them.

"You know that Montenegro recognized Kosovo in 2008, but we must be human enough and politically astute to understand Serbia's position regarding its perspective on what it claims to be part of its territory. What matters to me is that tensions in northern Kosovo are brought under control and de-escalated. All of this affects us. We genuinely support the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina facilitated by the EU. I am not happy about the tensions, and I call for de-escalation. I welcome Belgrade's efforts in achieving de-escalation, and I know that Vucic has done a lot in that regard. It takes two to tango," the Montenegrin President stated.

He made these remarks during a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic at the Palace of Serbia, in response to a journalist's question about Montenegro's position on the Kosovo issue and whether he has a clearer understanding of the situation after meeting with President Vucic.

Milatovic emphasized that Belgrade and Podgorica should focus on topics that bring them closer together rather than those on which they hold different views.

"We have had extensive discussions these past two days, and 95 percent of the topics are the ones that unite us, and they should be the focus of our actions," Milatovic said.

He stressed that tensions in Kosovo impact Montenegro as a neighboring country and the entire region.

Milatovic extended a public invitation to Vucic to officially visit Podgorica, stating that it would demonstrate the turning of a new page in the relationship between the two countries, as reported by RTV.

"I welcome any initiative aimed at improving relations with regional countries. Serbia and Montenegro share a common history, tradition, and active economic cooperation... With this visit, Serbia and Montenegro are turning a new page," Milatovic said.

Expressing his satisfaction with his first official visit to Belgrade, Milatovic reminded that upon assuming the presidency of Montenegro, he emphasized foreign policy priorities, which are European integration, NATO, and good neighborly relations.

He thanked President Vucic for the invitation to visit Serbia and for his presence at the swearing-in ceremony in Podgorica, as well as Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic's recent participation in the summit in Montenegro.

As Milatovic emphasized, all of these events, including his visit to Serbia, represent "important steps towards the political revitalization of the relationship between the two countries."