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Saturday, April 24, 1999 Published at 02:36 GMT 03:36 UK

World: Europe

New NATO members celebrate at summit

The leaders of NATO's three newest members - Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic - have been celebrating their membership at the alliance summit in Washington.

The Czech president, Vaclav Havel, said it was one of the most important moments in his country's history.

The president of Poland, Aleksandr Kwasniewski said the summit marked a turning point in the history of Poland which he said was leaving behind almost three hundred year of misfortunes.

For the Hungarian people, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said joining NATO meant an end to a century of suffering and uncertainty.

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