"Montenegro to get NATO invitation by end of year"
Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who is visiting Montenegro, has assessed that this country is ready for membership in NATO.Source: Beta
Mattarella on Tuesday added that he is confident Montenegro will get an invitation to join by the end of the year.
He is the first Italian president to visit Montenegro after 32 years, although high level meetings between officials of the two countries have been common, especially since the referendum on Montenegro's independence in 2006.
Mattarella told reporters in Cetinje after his meeting with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic that the two countries have "strong historical links and good cooperation in economy and justice" as well as "a common future in the EU and NATO."
Italian investments in Montenegro in the last ten years reached EUR 580 million. Italy has in the past five years been the largest investor in the country, according to official data.
In addition to Vujanovic, Mattarella will meet with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and Parliament Speaker Ranko Krivokapic.
Mattarella was in Serbia on Monday where he met with top officials and addressed parliament, to say that his country supports Serbia's European integration.
Moreover, he expressed Italy's support to, as soon as possible, open the first chapters in the country's EU membership negotiations.