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Rumsfeld Praises Albania for Military Contribution in Iraq, Afghanistan


U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has praised Albania for its military contribution in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Rumsfeld made his comments in Tirana Tuesday after talks with Albanian Defense Minister Fatmir Mediu. The U.S. defense secretary said Albania some day will consider its participation in the Afghan mission a historic decision.

Their discussions came ahead of Mr. Rumsfeld's meetings with Prime Minister Sali Berisha and President Alfred Moisiu.

On Wednesday, the U.S. defense secretary meets in Tirana with defense ministers from southeast European countries. He visits Slovenia later this week for a meeting of NATO defense ministers.

Mr. Rumsfeld flew to the Albanian capital from Montenegro where he met with Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. The Montenegrin leader said his government is prepared to participate in the U.S.-led war on terror, but he said details of any deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq have not been worked out.

Mr. Djukanovic said Rumsfeld also repeated Washington's support for Montenegro's bid to join NATO's Partnership for Peace, a program that provides for cooperation with the alliance without granting partner countries security guarantees.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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