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Slovakia Wants To Join NATO Despite U.S. Reservations

Bratislava, July 25 (RFE/RL) - Dusan Slobodnik, chair of the Slovak parliament's foreign relations committee, says Slovakia will continue to push for inclusion in an expanded NATO despite U.S. reservations.

He commented after the U.S. Congress yesterday approved financial support for three countries to be included in the first wave of NATO expansion, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Slobodnik said Slovakia will try to convince the U.S. Congress to include it as well. He said Slovakia is fulfilling its commitments in NATO's Partnership for Peace program and should not be ignored.

Slovakia has fallen out of favor with Western countries because of the authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.