NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said that he is encouraged by recent reforms in Montenegro and that he sees "growing support" for inviting the Balkan country to join the military alliance.
A formal decision on Montenegro’s membership bid is due to be made at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in early December.
Speaking at a gathering of lawmakers from NATO member states in Norway’s southwestern town of Stavanger, Stoltenberg said he would "not prejudge the decision," but said he senses "some kind of growing support for inviting Montenegro."
He said: "Montenegro is really making progress both when it comes to the rule of law, when it comes to establishing an independent judiciary but also when it comes to modernizing its armed forces and its intelligence services."
Stoltenberg is due to visit Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, later this week.