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NATO: Havel, Kwasniewski Want Baltics In Alliance

Lany, Czech Republic; 17 December 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The Polish and Czech presidents today said they believed NATO will next year invite the Baltic states, Slovenia, and Slovakia to join the alliance. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said at a joint press conference following talks with his Czech counterpart Vaclav Havel that the hoped that membership in NATO will remain open for "other states."

Poland and the Czech Republic joined NATO two years ago (1999). Both countries are also among candidates to join the European Union.

Kwasniewski, who is on a one-day visit to the Czech Republic, met Havel in the west Bohemian village of Lany.