NATO Secretary General welcomes Montenegro's achievements, encourages further reforms
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday (22 May 2014) welcomed the achievements Montenegro has made in implementing key reforms to meet NATO standards. The Secretary General encouraged Montenegro to continue those reforms. “NATO is committed to the future of the Western Balkans as a natural part of the Euro-Atlantic family. So I look forward to seeing Montenegro join the Euro-Atlantic family as soon as you are ready,” he said.
“Montenegro is an important partner for the Alliance and you are a strong aspirant for membership,” Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said during his visit to Podgorica where he met with President Filip Vujanovic, Prime Minister Mili Djukanovic, Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Igor Luksic and with the President of the Parliament, Mr. Ranko Krivokapic. “You have played a positive role in the Western Balkans and you contribute to international security,” said the Secretary General. He thanked Montenegro for its contribution to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.
Mr. Fogh Rasmussen stressed that the door to NATO membership remains open to all European democracies who are willing and able to assume the responsibilities of membership, and whose inclusion can contribute to common security and stability. Integration into NATO is a free choice, “but it requires significant efforts and reforms,” he said. The Secretary General encouraged Montenegro to continue substantial reforms including in areas also important to Montenegro’s bid to join the European Union. These reforms include reinforcing the rule of law, meeting NATO standards in security sector reforms and fighting corruption and organised crime.