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Moldova: Incoming NATO Head Urges Solution On Transdniester

Chisinau, 6 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The incoming NATO secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has urged Moldova to reach a resolution with its breakaway Transdniester region. De Hoop Scheffer, who met with Moldovan officials late yesterday in the capital Chisinau, said NATO and the European Union want Moldova to be a peaceful neighbor. Moldova's neighbor Romania is due to join NATO next year and the EU as soon as 2007.

De Hoop Scheffer said a solution cannot be imposed by foreign forces, and must be reached by the two sides. Dutch Foreign Minister de Hoop Scheffer is currently the chairman in office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Russian-speaking Transdniester broke away from Moldova in 1992, but is not internationally recognized. Moldovan students have led frequent protests in the past month demanding the withdrawal of thousands of Russian troops stationed in Transdniester.