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Romania/Slovenia: Leaders React To NATO Expansion

Madrid, 8 July 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Slovenian prime minister Janez Drnousek expressed disappointment that his country was not invited today to join NATO in the alliance's first round of eastward expansion.

Drnousek told journalists at NATO's Madrid summit that he expects Slovenia to be invited within the next two years, and as early as one year from now.

Drnousek said he thinks the United States estimated that inviting more than three countries in the first round would be "too much of a risk."

Speaking before the official NATO announcement, Romanian President Emil Constantinescu pledged to be patient as his country continues to pursue the goal of NATO membership. Constantinescu said he believes in "a favorable result in the long term" for Romania. He made the comment as he left Bucharest for Madrid today.