Heads up Embassy 1 October 2007
Montenegro Hello again!
Dragisa Burzan must be making history. He's been lucky enough to present his credentials to the Queen twice, as Ambassador of two different countries.
In 2004 he was Ambassdor of Serbia Montenegro; this year he presented his credentials to The Queen representing an independent Montenegro a very proud moment.
Burzan became a catalyst for political change in 1991 when he entered the political fray as part of a Montenegrin reform movement against Milosevic's nationalism.
The Ambassador won a seat in the Montenegrin parliament. As the pro-independence Socialist Democratic Party's Secretary for International Relations, he made a plea for Montenegrin independence at the London Conference in 1992, but took a pragmatic decision to shelve the idea as the Balkans plunged into a vicious ethnic war.
Montenegro remained a sanctuary, accepting waves of refugees. As Deputy Prime Minister in 1998, Burzan headed the Commission for Refugees, which then made up 20% of the population. It was very tense, he admits, but the country held together.
Although being hitched to Serbia was often a liability, especially during the NATO strikes, the small nation had to forgo independence for the sake of stability.
Finally, the situation was secure enough for Montenegrins to vote for independence last year.
Now back in London, Ambassador Burzan says Montenegro is finally free to pursue its own agenda. He is wasting no time putting it on the map.