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Vice President Mike Pence, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic, center, following their meeting at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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Pence welcomes Montenegro leader to White House

Vice President Mike Pence, left, shakes hands with Prime Minister of Montenegro Dusko Markovic, center, following their meeting at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is welcoming Montenegro as the newest member of NATO and says the United States is committed to the alliance’s “collective defense obligations.”

Pence met Monday with Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic at the White House. President Donald Trump pushed past Markovic at a NATO meeting last month in an incident that spread rapidly on social networks. Markovic later called it a “harmless situation.”

Montenegro became NATO’s 29th member on Monday.

The White House says Pence expressed “steadfast commitment to the Alliance and our collective defense obligations.”

At last month’s gathering in Brussels, Trump pressed NATO allies about their financial commitments and did not explicitly endorse the “one for all, all for one” defense doctrine critical to the alliance.

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