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The Recogntion of Montenegro

The U.S. has recognized the Republic of Montenegro as a sovereign and independent state. China, Russia, and other countries as well as the European Union, are also issuing formal statements of recognition.

In May, Montenegrins voted to end their eighty-eight-year union with Serbia. On June third, Montenegro declared its independence, becoming the fifth republic to gain independence from the former Yugoslavia. The others are Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that the referendum met democratic standards. Boris Tadic, Serbia's president, said he "supported the preservation of a joint state, but recognizes "the expression of the free will of the Montenegrin citizens." By cooperating with a newly independent Montenegro, President Tadic said Serbia now has an opportunity to demonstrate that it is a peaceful member of the world community.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the U.S. congratulates the people of Montenegro:

"The honor of being counted among the free and independent states of the world brings with it the challenge of protecting and advancing the freedom, rights and prosperity of all the people of Montenegro, and the responsibility to make a positive contribution to the community of nations."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the U.S. "is now considering Montenegro's proposal to begin a process of establishing diplomatic relations." Ms. Rice says the U.S. "look[s] forward to continued friendship and cooperation with the people of Montenegro."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.