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Today at the White House, the Vice President met Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic. The Vice President congratulated the Prime Minister on Montenegro’s accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and expressed the United States’ steadfast commitment to the Alliance and our collective defense obligations. The Prime Minister highlighted Montenegro’s plans to reach defense spending at 2 percent of GDP by 2024, and the leaders agreed on the need for increased burden sharing in order to ensure the Alliance has the capabilities it needs to address the threats we face, including terrorism. The Vice President expressed the United States’ strong support for the Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the countries of the Western Balkans and beyond, and emphasized that all countries should be free to choose their allies without interference from third countries.