We are going to keep on promoting western values, focused on reaching standards of contemporary democratic societies, maintenance of multi-ethnicity and multiconfessionalism of our community and improvement of life quality of our citizens. This will make Montenegro be the next EU member, said the President of Montenegro, Mr Milo Đukanović, at the reception in the US Embassy.
As reported from President’s Cabinet, he pointed out that the history of relations between Montenegro and the USA was long and rich and that a real friendship had been instilled in it.
“From John Jackson, the first American diplomatic representative, to Ms Judy Rising Reinke. Long battle for freedom and all common values we share today are our flag”, said Mr Đukanović.
He reminded that thousands of Montenegrin young men swam across America, from Sacramento to Alaska, in their search for better and happier life.
“At the beginning of the last century, 10% of our population lived and worked in America. What they brought youth to America was youth. What they brought to their poor homeland was money, new ideas and information about technological advance in a better world”, said Mr Đukanović.
Our greatest philosopher and poet, ruler and bishop, Petar II Petrović Njegoš, wanted to go to America too, since European forces, caught up in the whirl of imperial interests, seemed to have forgotten about the many- century long suffering of Montenegrin people and their fight for independence.
“Njegoš never reached America. However, only a couple of months before his death, commander of the American war ship „Nezavisnost“, anchored in the port in Naples, welcomed him warmly and with highest honors”, pointed out Mr Đukanović.
Little is known about the fact that Montenegrin King Nikola anticipated the importance of Trans-Atlantic connection.
“He generously offered Montenegrin coast near Ulcinj to president Taft so that the USA can set up a navy base and a station for the supply of American ships in European waters. Mr Pearson, a diplomat, said that he wanted to see that nation that had managed to regain independence even before the discovery of America. He also said that Montenegro had decided to overtake America”, said the President.
Political cooperation between Montenegro and the USA intensified in the lead up to the Great War.
“Montenegro and the USA found themselves on the same side of the front, in the battle against Central forces. Woodrow Wilson’s Program for the Establishment of Peace, known as „14 points“, was a flicker of hope for the renewal of Montenegrin independence. In 1921, America discontinued the relations with Montenegro. One of the greatest fighters for defense and respect of Montenegrin rights in the USA, Whitney Warren, published in 1922 in New York a book under the title „Montenegro – crime of the peace conference“ in which he revealed injustices and hidden political games. Unfortunately, Montenegro fell victim to such malicious games. However, he predicted that Montenegro would be independent again. He was obviously right”, said Mr Đukanović.
Today, our countries endeavor to preserve the memories of the great events from our history.
“Not only did Montenegrin emigrants work in America, but they also fought for freedom in the wars. One of the soldiers who received the highest military decoration „Medal of honor“, was Joko Meštrović. We point out with pride the fact that Montenegrin people organized a mass uprising against fascism on 13 July 1941. Jean-Paul Sartre said it was an event that had shown the humanity where to go”, said Mr Đukanović.
The USA was among the first states to recognize the outcome of the referendum on Montenegrin independence in 2006.
“US support in the fulfillment of high standards in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration was also very important. That qualified us for NATO membership, and opened new perspective on the development of Montenegrin society. That stable relationship continues, within the Alliance. We look for the responses to contemporary challenges together, we equally share our burdens, regardless of the size and capacities”, said the President.
He thanked American partners for the support to reform processes in Montenegro. He thanked the Ambassador, Ms Judy Rising Reinke, for the assistance in creating the environment suitable for higher FDI inflow and greater number of US tourists.
Mr Đukanović said that it would take him a while to count only the most important features of the relations between Montenegro and the USA.