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NATO: Clinton Says Membership Is 'Irreversible'

By Ron Loggans

Madrid, 8 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton today told other NATO heads of state that the alliance offers "irreversible membership," and that, therefore, all candidate countries must offer a "credible, irreversible commitment to NATO."

Clinton was quoted by a top NATO official who attended the heads-of-state meeting in Madrid. The NATO official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, briefed reporters after the meeting.

Clinton also called for a new partnership and greater sharing of responsibility between NATO's North American members (U.S., Canada) and the European allies.