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Romania: U.S. Envoy Praises Reform Progress

Bucharest, 10 January 1997 (RFE/RL) -- A high-ranking U.S. defense official yesterday praised Romanian reforms and said the country is clearly on the right road to joining an expanding NATO.

U.S. Defense Under-Secretary for Policy Walter Slocombe told reporters yesterday in Bucharest that Romania's chances of NATO membership are significantly improved by the recent democratic elections in the country and improved ties with its neighbors.

During the general and presidential elections in November, Romanian voters replaced former communists with a centrist coalition. Slocombe said the elections confirmed that democracy has taken firm root in Romania. Slocombe also commended Romania for signing a friendship treaty with neighboring Hungary and settling old disputes over borders and the treatment of ethnic minorities.