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Romania: President Reiterates Desire To Join NATO

By Nestor Ratesh

Madrid, 9 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Romania's President Emil Constantinescu says today's first meeting of NATO's Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) is "a major crossroads in the history of Europe and the world."

Addressing the EAPC in Madrid, Constantinescu made no reference to yesterday's NATO decision to limit the first wave of its expansion to three countries. NATO yesterday also made favorable mention of Romania and hinted that it might be among the nations that would join in a second wave.

Constantinescu simply reiterated what he called Romania's "irrevocable desire" to participate in deciding the security architecture in Europe and to join NATO as soon as possible.

Constantinescu also said that Romania was rediscovering what he called its "historic vocation as a mediator and point of convergence" in southeastern Europe. He said treaties and cooperation agreements concluded with Hungary, Ukraine, and Moldova, should help "build a flexible and lasting structure" that would prevent, or at least localize any new conflicts.