Montenegro Mulls Joining ‘Open Balkan’ Initiative

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Montenegro is not against joining the “Open Balkan” initiative, according to Goran Đurović, the Montenegrin Minister Of Economic Development And Tourism.

On Friday, May 27 Đurović was in Belgrade where he met with his Serbian counterpart.

“Any initiative that leads to the removal of barriers, faster movement of goods and services, will be accepted in Montenegro”, Đurović said after the meeting.

“We agreed that the presence and support of Montenegro in that initiative is very important,” Serbian Tourism Minister Tatjana Matić wrote in a statement.

Đurović’s confirmation comes after Montenegro’s recently appointed Prime Minister, Dritan Abazovic, accepted an invitation to attend the initiative’s next summit in Ohrid. Abazovic was invited to the summit by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

On Friday, Vucic himself was on a call with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and North Macedonian primer Dimitar Kovačevski where he lauded the initiative as the best option for the people of the Balkans.

The three leaders, joined by Abazovic, will meet in North Macedonia on June 7-8 to discuss the future of the initiative, with the focus being on standardizing work permits.

The “Open Balkan” is an initiative launched in October 2019 by the leaders of Serbia, Albania and North Macedonia. It aimed to establish an area without barriers to the movement of goods, people, services and capital.

Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, however, have refused to join so far.

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