NATO Secretary General praises reforms in Montenegro
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised Montenegro’s commitment to implement the needed reforms to meet NATO membership standards on Wednesday (27 June) after talks with the Balkan country’s foreign affairs and defence ministers.
The Secretary General voiced strong appreciation for Montenegro's clear commitment to Euro-Atlantic integration and its contribution to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. "I am very grateful for your participation in ISAF and your financial support for the Afghan Security Forces -- this is a significant effort," Mr Fogh Rasmussen said. He also commended Montenegro on its moderating role in the region, and congratulated the country on the progress achieved in its EU accession process.
He called on Montenegro to continue its momentum of reform, and to maintain an adequate level of defence spending despite tough economic times.
The Secretary General met with Milan Rocen, Montenegro’s Foreign affairs and European integration minister and Milica Pejanovic-Djurisic, Montenegro’s Defence minister. The two ministers also attended a session of the North Atlantic Council on Wednesday to update Allies on reform progress.
At their Chicago Summit, NATO leaders welcomed the “significant progress” Montenegro has made in meeting membership criteria as well as its contribution to fostering security in the Western Balkans. The leaders urged Montenegro to continue implementing the needed political, economic and defence reforms, which are required under the Alliance’s Membership Action Plan (MAP). NATO agreed to give Montenegro a MAP in December 2009.