RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 28 , 11 February 1998
CENTRAL EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS LOBBY FOR NATO EXPANSION. The foreign
ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland said in Washington on
10 February that any delay in the U.S. Senate's approval of NATO expansion
would "send the wrong signal" to other nations that want to join the
alliance. Hungary's Laszlo Kovacs said such a delay would also discourage
reforms in those countries and encourage extremists in Russia. Poland's
Bronislaw Geremek commented that a pause in NATO expansion after the
admission of the three new members would "play into Russian hands" at a
time when Moscow is gradually becoming part of European security
arrangements. President Bill Clinton will formally ask the U.S. Senate on
11 February to approve the expansion of the alliance. Meanwhile, the U.S.
has officially confirmed that it has asked the three states to support a
possible military operation against Iraq. MS
FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN HUNGARY DOUBLED LAST YEAR. The National Bank of
Hungary and the Central Statistics Office have announced that, in the first
11 months of 1997, the 4,396 companies with foreign participation invested
some 69.3 billion forints ($346 million). That is twice the amount during
the same period in 1996, "Napi Gazdasag" reported on 11 February. The U.S.
is the largest investor in Hungary with 28.5 billion forints (or 41 percent
of total foreign investments), followed by The Netherlands, France, and
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