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Central/Eastern Europe: NATO Invitees To Cooperate On Enlargement

Krakow, Poland; 22 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The prime ministers of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic told a press conference in Krakow, Poland, today that they will cooperate, not compete, as their nations prepare to join NATO.

They held two and a half hours of talks. Polish Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz called their meeting substantial, pragmatic and useful. The three agreed to meet again next spring in Budapest after negotiations on NATO membership begin this autumn.

They said their meeting in Krakow will be the first in a series of consultations aimed at harmonizing efforts of the three countries to join NATO and the European Union. They said, however, that each will pursue its own policies in negotiations with NATO and the EU.

They said the problem of modernization of the armed forces could be one of the areas for close cooperation. They said they didn't make any substantive decisions in the conference. They said they continue to support the candidacies of Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia for NATO membership.