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Saturday, 29 April, 2000, 06:15 GMT 07:15 UK
Romania recognises Moldova -- at last

Romania and its small eastern neighbour -- the republic of Moldova -- have finally agreed a treaty recognising each other's sovereignty.

At the signing ceremony in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, the Moldovan foreign minister, Nicolae Tabacaru, said he was sure it would hasten the process of European integration for both countries.

A BBC correspondent says the co-operation treaty had been held up partly because of the European Union's concerns about the estimated two-hundred-thousand Moldovans who hold Romanian citizenship.

Romania is waiting to join the European Union and our correspondent says the EU does not want to see membership rights granted to what are, in fact, citizens of another country. The treaty won't take effect until it is ratified by the Romanian and Moldovan parliaments.

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