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Romania: Minister Visits Britain To Discuss NATO

London, 25 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Severin is due in Britain today to discuss Bucharest's possible entry into an expanded NATO.

Severin is expected to meet with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook following similar talks in Brussels. Severin told reporters yesterday before leaving Romania that his trip is part of Bucharest's continuing efforts to reach what he called its "main objective -- to join NATO in the first wave."

The United States, however, has said that it believes the first wave of NATO expansion should be limited to the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. Formal invitations will be issued at NATO's summit in Madrid early next month.

In an interview yesterday with RFE/RL in Prague, Romanian President Emil Constantinescu conceded that Bucharest may not be admitted in the first round, but that he is certain of eventual membership. Constantinescu was in Prague to attend a NATO workshop.

At that workshop, the three Baltic republics called on NATO to set clear criteria for eastern and central European nations hoping to join the military alliance after the first applicants have been accepted.