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International Herald Tribune:Montenegrin PM says upcoming Rumsfeld visit to focus on regional security

Published date: 25.09.2006 17:00 | Author: Kliping inostranih medija

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An upcoming visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to newly independent Montenegro will largely focus on regional security, the tiny republic's prime minister said in comments published Monday.

Milo Djukanovic told reporters late Sunday that Rumsfeld also will discuss future relations with this tiny Adriatic state of 600,000 people, which became independent in June following a split from much larger Serbia.

Rumsfeld is scheduled to visit Montenegro as part of a tour of southeast European states. The date for the visit has not been released.

"This will be an opportunity to discuss not only bilateral defense cooperation but also a wider, regional context, especially in terms of security," Djukanovic said.

Djukanovic explained that regional security is at focus because of ongoing U.N.-brokered talks on the future status of the volatile Serbian province of Kosovo.

The province was at the center of a Serb-Albanian war and a NATO intervention in late 1990s, and remains a potential flashpoint. The region's ethnic Albanians insist it be independent from Serbia, while Belgrade wants to retain at least formal control over Kosovo./AP/