HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 cc393-4W
Mr. Ancram

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on the holding of a referendum on independence in Montenegro by the end of this year; and if he has received representations from the Montenegran Government on the issue. [40638]

Mr. Straw

[holding answer 5 March 2002]: The future of Montenegro is ultimately in the hands of the people of Montenegro. But we and our EU partners have made clear our belief that Montenegro's interests, and those of the wider region, will best be served by a negotiated outcome between Belgrade and Podgorica which leaves intact a single internationally-recognised state. The EU High Representative, Javier Solana, has been working with the parties on this issue since November 2001. We strongly

Date Venue Event
March 2002
1 Brussels Justice and Home Affairs Council (evening)
1 Brussels Internal Market, Consumers and Tourism Council
4 Brussels Eurogroup (evening)
4 Brussels Environment Council
5 Brussels ECOFIN
7 Brussels Employment and Social Affairs Council
11 Brussels Research Council
11–12 Brussels General Affairs Council
15–16 Barcelona European Council
18 Toledo Meeting of Trade Ministers (Ministerial Informal)
18–19 Brussels Agriculture Council
19 Toledo Euromed Trade Ministers Meeting
23–24 Brussels Defence Minister's Meeting (Ministerial Informal)
25–26 Brussels Transport and Telecom Council
27–28 Monterry, Mexico Financing and Development Conference

The following are the principal events in the EU between 1 April and August 2002 (certain relevant events support his efforts and have advised the parties against any abrupt or unilateral moves in this delicate situation. All those concerned, including President Djukanovic of Montenegro, have engaged constructively in this process.

We maintain regular contact with the Montenegrin authorities, and with President Djukanovic personally, on this and on other issues.

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