Washington, 18 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea says the U.S. has given assurances that Romania will be included in the second round of expansion of the NATO military alliance. Ciorbea says he received the pledge from U.S. Vice President Al Gore at a White House meeting earlier today. The Prime Minister, however, said Romania plans to continue its campaign for early inclusion in the alliance, right up to the NATO summit in Madrid next month.
Meanwhile in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Javier Solana said today that several member countries are still undecided on which countries to back for NATO expansion.
However, Solana said that he was optimistic a consensus will be reached before next month's NATO summit. At that time, NATO is expected to announce the countries to be admitted in its first wave of expansion.
Earlier this month, the United States said it would support only the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for early entry to the Western military bloc. Other countries have said they would like to add Romania and Slovenia to the list of new members.