Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde is currently on an official visit to the Republic of Montenegro and has met with the republic’s most senior officials. Iceland was first to acknowledge Montenegro’s independence on June 8, 2006, and established diplomatic relations with the nation on September 26, 2006.
During his stay, Haarde met Montenegro’s President Filip Vujanovic, Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic, Foreign Minister Milan Rocen and Speaker of Parliament Ranko Krivokapic, Morgumbladid reports.
“I have been very well-received,” Haarde said, adding it is clear that Montenegro would like to strengthen its relations with Iceland and learn from it. “I think we should be very open to that. We can achieve many things here if we are willing to assist.”
“Montenegrins are coming out of a difficult situation where they have said goodbye to their unison with Serbia and before that with Yugoslavia and are trying to find their footing as an independent nation in the communities of nations [on the Balkan Peninsula],” Haarde said, adding that Montenegro’s small population is just over 600,000 and their national income is less than one-tenth of Iceland’s national income.
“They have many projects ahead and a long way to go before they are fully developed,” Haarde said, adding Iceland could contribute with its knowledge in the field of fisheries and harnessing energy.
“There are many opportunities here, both in regards to regular trade but also in regards to investments and, last but not least, in the field of tourism,” Haarde stated. “I think Montenegro is a little gem for tourism that many are not aware of. I think Icelandic travel agencies should take notice of that.”