14 April, 2007
Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas concluded a ground-breaking series of contacts with Montenegro's top leadership on Thursday in Podgorica, outlining at least three sectors for budding cooperation between EU-member-state Greece and the newly independent state in the western Balkans.
Sioufas was received by Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic and Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic, among others, where he reiterated Athens' volition to support Montenegro's European integration and to aid its economic convergence with the rest of the continent via the Greek government's structural fund for the Balkans.
Energy issues -- as Sioufas holds the energy portfolio in the Greek government -- also dominated talks, as the minister proposed a bilateral agreement on the sector, along with agreements on SMEs and R&D exchanges.
In talks with Sturanovic, the latter briefed Sioufas on Podgorica's reforms and efforts to join Euro-Atlantic institutions, while he thanked Athens for its support. Both sides also expressed a readiness to schedule a meeting between the Greek and Montenegrin prime ministers in the near future.
During a meeting with Minister for Economic Development Bradimir Gvozdenovic, the two sides discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, with the first step being immediate cooperation deals between the two countries' chambers of commerce.
Source: Athens News Agency