US endorses Montenegro's freedom
The US action came after Montenegro won international recognition from the European Union and a number of other nations on Monday.india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 18:25 IST
The United States has recognised the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro as a 'sovereign and independent' country, state-run television reported on Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice accorded Montenegro recognition in a letter received late on Monday by the tiny Balkan country's Foreign Minister, Miodrag Vlahovic, said RTCG television.
The US action came after Montenegro won international recognition from the European Union and a number of other nations on Monday, including former Yugoslav republics Croatia and Macedonia.
Montenegro's parliament formally declared independence 10 days ago after a narrow majority of its voters opted to break away from a union with Serbia in a historic May 21 referendum.
The government of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica -- who openly opposed Montenegro's secession -- has yet to recognise Montenegro's independence, saying only that it was the successor of the now defunct federation.
In the letter, Rice congratulated the people of the tiny republic for successfully organising the referendum that was the final act in Yugoslavia's turbulent history.
"I am pleased to inform you that the United States government recognises the Republic of Montenegro as a sovereign and independent state, consistent with the request of your government and the will of the people of Montenegro," read letter, posted on the Montenegrin government website.
She appealed to the government as well as the pro-Serbian opposition to work together to resolve their differences "democratically and responsibly."