Vol. 1, No. 128, 30 September 1997
U.S. OFFICIAL CAUTIONS CZECHS OVER NATO MEMBERSHIP. Assistant
Defense Secretary Frank Kramer, who recently visited the Czech
Republic, Poland, and Hungary, told Czech officials they need to
increase both military spending (which declined sharply in the past
12 months) and support among Czechs for NATO membership,
Reuters reported on 29 September, quoting a U.S. Defense
Department spokesman. Kramer also noted that the Czech Republic is
lagging behind Poland and Hungary as the three states prepare to
join NATO. Kramer held talks in Prague on 16 September with
Defense Minister Miloslav Vyborny, who is scheduled to join U.S.
Defense Secretary William Cohen and other NATO defense ministers
at a two-day meeting in The Netherlands beginning on 1 October to
discuss NATO expansion.
HUNGARY INVITES SLOVAKIA FOR TALKS OVER DAM. Hungarian
Prime Minister Gyula Horn on 29 September invited his Slovak
counterpart, Vladimir Meciar, for talks to discuss the disputed
Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydropower project on the River Danube. The
move comes after the International Court of Justice in The Hague
ruled that the two states must respect the terms of the 1977 treaty,
which requires Bratislava and Budapest to negotiate in good faith.
Hungary and Slovakia took the issue to the court in 1992, after the
Slovaks diverted the Danube to Slovak territory to supply a power
station at Gabcikovo. Earlier, in 1989, Hungary had unilaterally
suspended work on its side, citing environmental concerns.
HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON NATO TALKS. Laszlo Kovacs, who
is visiting Washington, says he expects NATO to be satisfied with
Budapest's defense budget. He said Hungary will spend less than
requested by NATO but noted that military spending will be roughly
equal to that of smaller NATO member countries, such as Belgium or
Portugal, Reuters reported. Together with his Polish counterpart,
Darius Rosati, and Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Karel Kovanda,
Kovacs met with National Security Adviser Sandy Berger at the
White House on 29 September. Berger acknowledged that the three
countries are making "serious efforts" to prepare for NATO
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