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Estonia: Official Says Agreement Reached On U.S. Charter

By Sonia Winter and Maire Reichenau

Washington, 4 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - A senior Estonian official says the Baltic states and the United States have agreed in principle on the text of a U.S.-Baltic charter.

Estonia's ambassador to the United States Kalev Stoicescu told RFE's correspondent yesterday that the charter will be a major topic of discussion during U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's forthcoming visit to Lithuania.

He said Albright plans to be in Vilnius on July 13 and will meet with Estonian and Latvian foreign ministers, as well as Lithuanian leaders.

Stoicescu said there is agreement in principle on the text of the charter and that the parties will discuss some remaining minor points and a date for a signing ceremony.

He said the charter will be signed at the highest level by president Bill Clinton and the presidents of the three Baltic states.

The U.S.-Baltic charter is expected to express, among other things, U.S. support for the sovereignty and independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia but not give full security guarantees.