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NATO: U.S. Senator Says Charter Must Not Endanger Alliance

Washington, 14 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - A leading U.S. Senator says it is important to make sure a NATO-Russia charter does not undermine the western alliance and is compatible with its basic character.

Senator William Roth (R-Delaware) made the statement yesterday after a discussion with visiting Czech President Vaclav Havel about NATO enlargement.

Roth is chairman of the U.S. Senate's NATO Observer Group, and president of the North Atlantic Assembly, NATO's parliamentary arm.

He said the immediate priorities of the senate group are to make sure the Russia-NATO charter will not weaken NATO decision-making and that the NATO enlargement process will continue after the first round of expansion.

Roth praised Havel's contribution to freedom and expressed support for his views and concerns about NATO expansion.

Another senior U.S. Senator who met with Havel, Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), said in a statement that the decision to expand NATO is monumental and that it will set the course for increased security and stability in Europe.