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NEWS BRIEFS

American Senate backs NATO expansion

SLOVAKIA moved a step closer to NATO entry on May 8 when the US Senate unanimously backed the entry of seven new countries, including Slovakia to the alliance.

"This is a historic step for these seven countries, it is vital in continuing to strengthen NATO, the security of the US and world cooperation," said Richard Luger, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"The US is by far the strongest and most active member of the alliance, and the fact that Senate approved enlargement will be a message for the parliaments of other NATO countries," said Slovak foreign minister Eduard Kukan.

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