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East-West Issues At NATO Meeting

Brussels, April 24 (RFE/RL) - High-ranking military officials from East and West meet in Brussels today to discuss enhanced cooperation. The meeting involves the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, and states that have enrolled in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

The Council first met in December, 1991 - as the USSR was disuniting. The Council now has 38 members, dominated by the 16 NATO members and the 12 members of the CIS, followed by the Eastern European members. The Council shares several members with the 27 states which have enrolled in NATO's "Partnership" program. And in each group are several neutral states, and states that traditionally have been viewed as non-aligned.

The focus of today's discussion is how Eastern countries can restructure their armed forces - especially those eager to join NATO. Our Brussels correspondent reports top NATO military commanders met yesterday to discuss the Alliance's military structure, in order that NATO could be better prepared for accepting new members.