Chairman of NATO Military Committee commends Montenegro for transformation achieved on way to membership
During his two-day visit to Podgorica (3-4 March 2016), General Petr Pavel welcomed Montenegro’s commitment and progress towards NATO membership. The Chairman had bilateral discussions on the current state of relations between NATO and Montenegro with particular focus on military cooperation with the President, Mr. Filip Vujanović, the Prime Minister, Mr. Milo Đukanović, the Minister of Defence, Professor Milica Pejanović-Đurišić, the President of the Parliament, Mr. Ranko Krivokapić and the Chief of the General Staff of the Montenegrin Armed Forces, Admiral Dragan Samardžić.
Speaking with President Vujanović, General Pavel highlighted the progress Montenegro has made in its defence and security sector reforms and exchanged views on how NATO can continue to assist Montenegro. “Montenegro’s membership will bring benefits to both your country and NATO. It will further reinforce the security and stability of the Western Balkans, the Mediterranean, and Europe”, said the Chairman.
During the Joint Press Conference with the Minister of Defence, Prof Milica Pejanović- Đurišić, the Chairman expressed NATO’s commitment to continue its support to Montenegro and valued the constructive role that the country plays in the region, and through its contributions to NATO, EU, and UN missions, to international security. “Euro-Atlantic integration stands for stability. Being in NATO means greater security. It also allows for the sharing of experiences and pooling of capabilities", stated General Pavel.
Speaking with Admiral Samardžić, the Chairman praised the transformation of the Montenegrin Armed Forces and their participation in the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. “Your contribution to the NATO-led missions in Afghanistan is highly valued, together with the financial support you are providing to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces. We are grateful for these concrete and important contributions”, said General Pavel.
Concluding his visit, the Chairman highlighted Montenegro’s proud military tradition and expertise in areas such as mountain warfare and maritime security. He also stressed that the cooperation with Allied forces in joint training, exercises and operations has made the Montenegrin Armed Forces stronger and better able to protect the Montenegrin people.