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The Independent Online
The Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly yesterday recommended admitting the Czech republic and Slovakia as member states in a session marked by concern for the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, Reuter reports from Strasbourg.

MPs approved recommending membership by a show of hands. The two states were in the Council of Europe when they existed as a single country before breaking apart on 1 January. The recommendations, to be presented today to government representatives of the 29 member states for final approval, contained amendments aimed at protecting the rights of more than half a million ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia, a tenth of the country's population.