Cyprus and Malta to assist Montenegro’s EU accession course

Cyprus and Malta to assist Montenegro’s EU accession course

The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus Malta and Montenegro met in Nicosia today in a meeting that have set the fundamentals for a solid tripartite partnership, Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

Kasoulides, Malta`s George W. Vella, and Montenegro`s, Igor Lukšić held a trilateral meeting in the Cypriot Foreign Ministry during which they reviewed Montenegro’s accession process to the EU and identified areas where Cyprus and Malta could assist by providing their expertise, know-how and implementation of best practices and they discussed regional issues of common interest.

“The fruitful discussions we will have today set the fundamentals for a solid tripartite partnership between Cyprus, Malta and Montenegro, which includes providing technical assistance to Montenegro, so that it is facilitated in the completion of its accession negotiations,” Kasoulided told a joint press conference, adding “this trilateral initiative symbolizes the solidarity and friendship that leads and will lead the small states in the EU.”

He noted that Cyprus and Malta`s “successful path in the process of harmonization with the EU acquis is our most useful equipment to contribute to this effort with similar knowledge and expertise.”

The Cypriot Minister also commended “the exemplary progress achieved by Montenegro and encourage the continuation of the necessary reform process,” noting that the harmonization path is a painstaking process that entails a show of commitment and dedication that certainly pays off through the transformation value of institutional structures of the acceding country and its society as a whole.

“Both Malta and Cyprus are ready to offer technical expertise in this very important path for Montenegro in specific areas of particular interest, such as rule of law, justice, customs union and commercial law,” he concluded

On his part, Wella, Cyprus and Malta stand ready to help Montenegro, “which is making a quite rapid progress towards European Union, with advice, with help and even with moral support.”

“Montenegro has surprised everybody with the rate of progress, in which it has moved onwards and there are still obviously many sectors in which a lot of change will have to take place, but we can assure our colleague that we will be there and will be obviously available for helping Montenegro and also for seeing that Montenegro’s race for membership in the shortest time possible,” he added.

The Montenegrin Minister said his country looks forward to Cyprus and Malta “as a great source of knowledge of how to navigate through a very demanding task of making Montenegro harmonized with the European standards.”

“Although we are three small countries, I believe that there is a lot reasons to share experience and knowledge and establish different channels of communication, in order to make sure that we are able to tackle the different challenges. We are very much looking towards in receiving pieces of advice, how to make sure that we are on the same page,” he added.

Montenegro began accession talks with the EU in June 2012.

Kasoulides said Cyprus and Montenegro will sign tomorrow an Agreement on Cooperation in Fighting Terrorism and Organized Crime.

Before the trilateral meeting, Kasoulides and Wella held official talks reviewing bilateral relations and ways for their further enhancement, the Cyprus problem, terrorism, ISIL, migration, as well as regional issues, were discussed during the meeting.