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NATO Chief Praises Montenegro Reforms

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has praised Montenegro for carrying out reforms in its armed forces.

NATO is due to decide in December whether to invite the Balkan country to join the Western military alliance.

Speaking to lawmakers in Podgorica on October 15, Stoltenberg said that "we recognized the progress that this nation has made in pursuing reform, in contributing to international security, in promoting cooperation within the western Balkans."

He added, "In close cooperation with NATO, Montenegro has reformed its armed forces and its intelligence services."

Stoltenberg is on a two-day visit with ambassadors from NATO's North Atlantic Council.

The Montenegrin government has strongly pursued NATO membership since the country became independent in 2006, but it has been told it must first beef up public support for NATO, strengthen the rule of law, and step up other reforms.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP