NATO agrees to add 3 countries, official says
July 8, 1997
Web posted at: 7:57 a.m. EDT (1157 GMT)
From CNN White House Correspondent John King
MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- NATO leaders agreed Tuesday that only
three nations -- Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic --
would be invited to join the alliance, a Western official
The official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity,
said the leaders now were pressing to resolve differences
over the final language of the summit communique and how it
would deal with future NATO expansion.
France and other European allies want a specific pledge that
Romania and Slovenia will be invited to join NATO in 1999.
But the United States prefers language that would make clear
Romania and Slovenia are at the head of the line -- but stops
short of any iron-clad guarantee they would be invited to
join NATO in 1999.
The U.S. believes committing to two countries now might take
the steam out of economic and military reforms in other
countries seeking NATO membership.
The language on future expansion -- paragraph 8 of the summit
communique -- was the major focus as the 16 NATO leaders and
their foreign ministers held separate working luncheons.
Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic will be invited to
join NATO -- but must enter into specific negotiations about
military and other membership requirements. Plans call for
them to be formally admitted when NATO holds its 50th
anniversary summit in 1999.
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