President of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Ivan Brajović has talked today via video-conference with the OSCE PA’s top officials - President Mr George Tsereteli, Secretary General Mr Roberto Montella and Special Representative on South East Europe Mr Mark Pritchard as well as head of parliamentary delegations to the OSCE PA from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Serbia.
Opening the conference, President of the OSCE PA Mr George Tsereteli pointed out that during Covid 19 pandemic, the committees of this organisation, counting 57 states, were in constant communication, and that there was an exchange of information between members in the priority area of health security.
President Brajović, as the first speaker after the OSCE PA President, expressed pleasure with the fact that as of yesterday Montenegro has been the first state with no coronavirus infections, whereby the great news is the result of timely and thorough strategy and efforts of institutions and individuals and the entire society. President Brajović informed his interlocutors in the OSCE PA that the Parliament of Montenegro operated in an efficient manner during the pandemic with maximum protection of employees and MPs. He emphasised that the region and Montenegro received political and economic support from the European Union, which confirmed the European perspective of the Western Balkans. Aside from health and economic challenges, the President of the Parliament added that Montenegro was simultaneously facing gross political destruction directed against the state and its institutions, by the Serbian Orthodox Church, aided by individual political actors from the neighbouring state, all under the guise of defending religious rights and freedoms. Speaking of the upcoming parliamentary elections, the President of the Parliament stressed that they will be held in autumn within legislative deadline, and reminded that early in May he sent an invitation to the European institutions for observing the elections.
Special Representative on South East Europe Mr Mark Pritchard emphasised the satisfaction with the cooperation of states, solidarity and responsibility during the coronavirus epidemic, and now it is time to preserve stability in the Western Balkans and face economic challenges. Special Representative Pritchard also called for sending observation missions to countries facing parliamentary elections, should the epidemiological situation be favourable.
Participants agreed on the importance of developing strategies to overcome challenges in the coming months, and expressed the need for strong multilateral cooperation that can be a significant help to each country. The heads of regional delegations exchanged information on the current health, economic and political opportunities and challenges in their countries, especially ahead of the elections in Serbia and North Macedonia. They agreed that the new circumstances should be used as an opportunity to improve relations, especially in the field of health, transport, trade between the countries of the region.