European Western Balkans

Montenegro signs the agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church

Signing of the Fundamental Agreement; Photo: Government of Montenegro

PODGORICA – Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović and the Patriarch of Serbian Orthodox Church Porfirije signed the “Fundamental Agreement” between Montenegro and the Church today. Democratic Party of Socialists announced the vote of no confidence in the Government.

The issue of the Fundamental Agreement regulating the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been a longstanding political issue in Montenegro.

“I am extremely honored and pleased that we brought to an end the process that, unfortunately, took too long in Montenegro. The idea of signing a contract with the SOC is an old idea, I regret that it was not realized in the previous period. The government is determined to provide completely identical rights to all religious communities. We are happy and satisfied if we contributed to that today”, Abazović said, Vijesti report.

The signing ceremony was attended by several Government Ministers, as well as the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral Joanikije.

Patriarch Porfirije, whose arrival in Montenegro was not officially announced, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Montenegro.

“I am, first of all, grateful to God today, grateful to you, Mr. Prime Minister, for all the efforts you made with your colleagues to end the vicissitudes that have been going on since 2012 here, in a solemn way, and to sign the Fundamental Agreement between the State of Montenegro Gore and the Serbian Orthodox Church,” Porfirije said.

Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which is supporting Abazović’s minority government, announced on Twitter that it is launching a no-confidence vote on the Government.

“The agreement signed today, which is violating the Constitution of Montenegro, will be suspended immediately after the election of the new Government”, DPS tweeted.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ranko Krivokapić, nominated by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) also criticized the agreement, saying it will move Montenegro further away from the EU.

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