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Europe: U.S. Defense Secretary To Discuss NATO Plans

Washington, 3 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen departs Washington today for a five-day trip through Europe to discuss plans for NATO's eastward expansion, and the Alliance's relations with Russia. Cohen will hold talks in Germany, Bosnia, Italy and at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The Defense Department says Cohen will discuss with European officials ways to ensure that conditions will be stable enough in Bosnia by the summer of next year to enable the NATO-led peace force, SFOR, to pull out. The department said it is the objective of the United States to make such a success of Bosnia that there will no longer be a need for a military force with U.S. troops on the ground there.