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Conference Moves Montenegro Toward NATO, EU Membership

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2006 – Montenegro will begin charting its course toward NATO and European Union membership later this month during the first George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies conference in that nation since it declared independence in June.

The conference, Montenegro's Euro-Atlantic Integration Perspectives, is being held in cooperation with Montenegro's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Oct. 30 through Nov. 1.

More than a dozen speakers have been invited to address the 40 participants expected to attend the conference.

Among the speakers and moderators will be representatives from the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The German ambassador to Montenegro and the principal officer of the U.S. Diplomatic Office in Montenegro are expected to attend, as well as representatives from several neighboring states.

Officials said participants will:

-- Determine the progress of reform activities and the current situation in Montenegro;

-- Discuss NATO's and the EU's current and future roles in Montenegro;

-- Discuss lessons learned by new NATO and EU members;

-- Promote inter-ministerial cooperation supporting the Euro-Atlantic integration of Montenegro; and

-- Draft proposals for the way ahead.

The conference will include a series of plenary sessions, working groups, and open discussions.

The Marshall Center is a U.S. Defense Department and German

Defense Ministry educational institution. More than 4,000 military and civilian officials from more than 50 nations have graduated from resident courses, and about 14,000 people have attended more than 230 conferences discussing European and Central Asian security issues since the center was dedicated in 1993.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited Montenegro in September to meet with the newly independent nation’s leaders and offer U.S. encouragement for the country’s efforts to become part of Europe’s organizations and alliances.

(From a George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies news release.)

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Related Sites:
George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies
State Department Background Notes on Montenegro

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