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NATO: July 1997 Madrid Summit Outcome

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President Clinton and the other NATO heads of state and government, meeting Madrid, Spain on July 8-9, 1997, invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland begin accession talks with the Alliance. Initiating the enlargement process major goal set for the summit meeting, but the outcome was achieved only after hard bargaining. French President Jacques Chirac came to Madrid strongly advocating inclusion of Romania and Slovenia in the first group of invitees. He argued successfully for some indication that these two southern European countries would be next on the list of candidates. The leaders affirmed that enlargement would be a process and that would review candidacies of additional countries at a meeting in April 1999 when hope to welcome the three current invitees as NATO members. The other goals summit were met only in part. The allies had hoped to be able to celebrate NATO” at Madrid, but the celebration was qualified by failure to agree on reform NATO command structure and by France’s decision that NATO had not changed sufficiently to warrant its return to full military participation in the Alliance.