An extensive, cordial meeting between Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager and the Foreign Minister of Montenegro, Srdjan Darmanović, accompanied by Ambassador Miodrag Vlahović, took place at the Magistral Villa last Thursday.
The discussions focussed on the migration crisis and the reception of refugees, including programmes for integration. Boeselager emphasised that this is an aspect in which the Order of Malta is strongly involved. The head of Montenegro’s diplomatic service said that the guarantee of humanitarian conditions for the migrants is an objective of his government, stating: “Whenever is it possible to help, we do so.”
A special topic was the icon of the Madonna of Philermo, the Marian symbol of spirituality of the Order of Malta, which is housed in the National Museum, Cetinje, the historic capital of Montenegro. The icon, which dates from around the ninth century, had been taken by the Order to Rhodes, then Malta, Russia and Yugoslavia – from whence it disappeared during the second world war – and was found in Montenegro early this century.
The Grand Chancellor assured Their Excellencies of the Order’s desire to cooperate in ensuring that the work, which is not only artistic, but also religious and spiritual, would be maintained in the best possible conditions which would guarantee a final resting place worthy of its value. Minister Darmanović expressed his satisfaction with the discussions raised around the question – thanking in particular the Order’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Antonio Zanardi Landi for his collaboration – and trusting that this reciprocal willingness will lead to further good relations.
At the end of the meeting the Montenegro authorities declared their appreciation for the dedicated organisation which has resulted in the bringing of three Montengro doctors to Naples to attend seminars on the latest practices in cardiovascular technology.