BELGRADE, June 5 (Xinhua) -- By becoming a member of the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Montenegro "has achieved the most important foreign policy goal and a strategic decision in recent history", Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic said on Monday.
Boskovic said that the accession to NATO will contribute to the prosperity of the whole country without negative consequence to any other country, and that Montenegro will continue to support the system of collective security in the unstable area of the Western Balkans.
He made the remarks while addressing diplomats, representatives of Montenegrin media and the NGO sector at a reception in the capital of Podgorica on the occasion of Monday's handover of instruments of ratification in Washington.
"I hope it will serve as an example to other countries in terms of their foreign policy positioning. NATO membership will receive additional value only together with a high degree of regional security and cooperation," said the Minister of Defense, according to the press release of the government.
Montenegro officially became the 29th member state of NATO at a ceremony of accession in Washington where Montenegro's Prime Minister Dusko Markovic handed the Protocol of Accession to U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, in presence of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
Boskovic reiterated that Montenegro's membership in NATO will enable it to participate in modern global policy, preserve the principles of democracy and improve its the rule of law.
"Being part of a family of modern democracy in the largest and the most functional international alliance in the world, for us is a great privilege, but also the responsibility to continue the same or even greater intensity in implementing the values and principles of NATO," said Boskovic, adding that the membership is the result of an exhaustive, painstaking and dedicated work on the reform of the entire Montenegrin society, primarily the defense sector.
He stressed that Montenegro as a member of the Alliance will justify the trust of allies by making a continued contribution, reform, modernization and strategies.
On Wednesday, Montenegro's flag will fly over NATO Headquarters in Brussels for the first time.