Congratulations, Montenegro, on your first NATO anniversary! In joining NATO, Montenegro took an important step forward as a member of the Euro-Atlantic community. This community is a family of nations whose shared commitment to democratic values and common security binds us together in partnership.
As a member of NATO, Montenegro stands shoulder-to-shoulder with an equal voice in this 29-member alliance. Last year, your prime minister and our President sat at the same table with the heads of other countries, and people around the world learned that Montenegro is a 21st-century country on the move — a nation brimming with potential and a leader among the Balkan states. Since then, Montenegro has enhanced international security working alongside NATO partners and served as a role model to other NATO aspirants.
When your flag was raised last year in Brussels, in Virginia, and in Mons, it symbolized the beginning of a new chapter in your proud history. Moving forward, the United States will continue to partner with Montenegro to strengthen the rule of law; to deepen respect for media freedom; and to help Montenegro become a member of another important family – the European Union.
Together, as allies, we are stronger and safer. Happy anniversary!