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Montenegro's Markovic Shrugs Off Trump Shoving Incident At NATO Summit


Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at the NATO summit

U.S. President Donald Trump shoved Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic aside as he pushed to get into a group photo at the NATO summit on May 25, but the Balkan leader says he took no offense.

Trump put his right hand on Markovic's right arm and pushed himself ahead as NATO leaders walked into the alliance's new headquarters in Brussels for a photo session.

Trump then stood near Markovic and spoke to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite during the shoot.

Video of the incident spread quickly on social networks in multiple languages.

While Balkan media reacted with indignation -- running headlines like "America First" -- Markovic shrugged off the slight.

"It didn't really register. I just saw reactions about it on social networks. It is simply a harmless situation," he said afterward.

Instead of being insulted, he said he took the opportunity to thank Trump for supporting Montenegro's membership in NATO. The small former Yugoslav republic is slated to become NATO's 29th member next month.

And in any case, Markovic said, "it is natural that the president of the United States is in the front row."

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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