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Friday, August 14, 1998 Published at 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK

World: Americas

Puerto Rico approves referendum on future status

The Senate in Puerto Rico has given final approval to a bill on holding a referendum on the future status of the Caribbean island.

Puerto Rico is currently a Commonwealth territory of the United States with limited self-government.

The referendum -- to take place in December -- will allow Puerto Ricans to decide whether to keep their current status, become a full American state or choose independence.

Any referendum is not binding on the United States.

The US House of Representatives has also approved a referendum bill on the future of Puerto Rico but it has yet to be voted on by the US Senate.

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