Washington, 29 August 1997 (RFE/RL) - The vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), is meeting senior NATO alliance officials in Brussels today for two days of talks on NATO's plans to expand into central and eastern Europe.
Lugar supports alliance expansion and his endorsement will be important when the Senate starts debating the required approval of amendments to NATO's founding treaty.
Lugar had talks yesterday with Prime Minister Viktor Ciorbea and Foreign Minister Adrian Severin on Romania's bid to join NATO in the next round of alliance expansion. In July, NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to become new members.
Lugar also visited Slovenia, which also wants to join NATO, earlier this week. He is due to return to the U.S. on Sunday.