Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I offer my warmest wishes to the people of Montenegro as you celebrate your National Day.
"This year’s holiday is particularly significant, as you mark the signing of the NATO Accession Protocol. This achievement, coming just ten years after regaining your independence, exemplifies the tremendous progress Montenegro has made towards fulfilling its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Your country has earned NATO membership by undertaking difficult domestic reforms and demonstrating leadership on regional and global security issues. We congratulate you on your impressive progress.
'The United States is also grateful for the enduring support Montenegro provides in counterterrorism through partnerships such as the counter-ISIL coalition and in Afghanistan. We will continue to back Montenegro’s efforts towards NATO and EU accession in pursuit of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.
"Congratulations on this special day. I look forward to our continued cooperation in the year ahead."