From 27 to 29 February Gernot Erler, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, will travel to Montenegro for political talks. In Podgorica he will meet among others Prime Minister-designate Milo Djukanović, Foreign Minister Milan Roćen and Parliament President Ranko Krivokapić.
The talks will focus on Kosovo's declaration of independence on 17 February and its effects on regional stability. There will also be a discussion on Montenegro's further steps towards Euro-Atlantic integration. On 15 October 2007 the EU and Montenegro signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement. The visa facilitation agreement between the EU and Montenegro entered into force on 1 January 2008. Last week the EU Commission began talks on further options for simplifying the visa procedure.
In addition, since Presidential elections have been scheduled for 6 April, Mr Erler will be briefed by the candidates on the campaign to date. He will also meet representatives of NGOs.