Vol. 1, No. 17, 23 April 1997
POLAND APPROVES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH
LATVIA. Latvia moved closer to membership in the Central
European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) yesterday when the
Polish government approved a free trade pact with the Baltic
state, Reuters reported. Under the pact, customs duties will be
abolished on most industrial products. Some tariffs will
continue to apply for so-called sensitive products--such as
farm goods, textiles, steel, oil products, and cars--but will be
phased out. Latvia still needs to sign a free trade agreement
with Hungary and join the World Trade Organization to
become eligible for CEFTA. Current CEFTA members are the
Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. On 1
July, Romania is to become its sixth member.
HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS "NO NUKES" WITH
NATO MEMBERSHIP. At the end of his five-day visit to Japan,
Laszlo Kovacs told the newspaper Nihon Keizai yesterday that
if Hungary joins NATO, no nuclear arms will be deployed on its
territory. Kovacs said Budapest is also opposed to having
NATO troops stationed in the country "on a permanent basis,"
according to an ITAR-TASS report. He said entry to NATO
should not be viewed as posing any threat to Russia, with
which Hungary has no common border. In other news, Premier
Gyula Horn yesterday concluded a four-day visit to Malaysia.
The two countries agreed to set up their first joint venture,
which will be in telecommunications.
BUDAPEST SOCIALIST PARTY OFFICE TARGETED IN PIPE
BOMB ATTACK. Hungarian TV reported yesterday that a pipe
bomb exploded at a district office of the governing Socialist
Party in Budapest. The blast caused some damage, but there
were no injuries. It was the second bomb attack on a Socialist
party office in the last three months.
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