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Romania: Prime Minister Makes Case For NATO Membership

Prague, 29 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea says his country has important advantages over other candidates wishing to join the extended NATO.

He says Romania had not been integrated in the Warsaw Pact and 80 percent of its military equipment is produced at home. He also says Romania has sent peace-keeping troops to three countries -- Bosnia, Angola and Albania. Ciorbea spoke to reporters after addressing the 16 ambassadors to NATO of the alliance in Brussels yesterday.

Foreign Minister Adrian Severin told an RFE/RL reporter that Romania's offer last week to replace U.S. troops in Bosnia with Romanian troops should be regarded as "expressing only a political position" and "investigating a technical possibility." He says it is not "a pledge." He says a concrete decision on such matters can only be made by the country's Supreme Military Council and is subject to parliament's approval.