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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 08:42 GMT
Nato aspiring countries meet in Romania

The leaders of 10 central and eastern European countries hoping to join Nato are meeting in Bucharest to co-ordinate their strategy.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, the Romanian Foreign Minister, Mircea Geoana, said that the 10 aspiring members would discuss how they could co-operate more effectively among themselves, and with Nato member countries, in the face of new threats following last September's attacks on the United States.

Mr Geoana said the aspiring member countries wanted to show that a robust expansion of Nato was necessary as a reaction to threats of terrorism.

The meeting comes nine months ahead of a Nato summit, when the alliance is expected to invite several new members to join.

Nato has given no indication which countries it intends to invite.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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