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Issue: "Daniel of the Year 2002," Dec. 7, 2002

5

Enlarging the Alliance

41 Points | In Prague, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization welcomed into its membership seven new member states, including three--the Baltic nations of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia--that for a half-century were part of the Soviet Union. "Our theme today has been transformation," NATO Secretary General George Robertson told a press conference. "We have enlarged the alliance and transformed its mission." Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia also joined the alliance. After years of defending Western Europe from potential attack by Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces, NATO is turning into a political club of like-minded countries, the most visible European-American discussion and consultation society. Following this round of NATO enlargement are scheduled invitations to as many as 10 countries-also mostly former communist states--to join the European Union.

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