Hungary and Romania sign pact
Tuesday 18 February 1997
Analysts believe the agreements reached will enhance both countries' chances of early Nato membership and could mean Romania joining the current favourites - the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary - in the first group of new members to Nato to be announced at the alliance's next summit in July.
"We have signed an agreement on the protection of secrets that will enable ... close military co-operation," Hungary's defence minister, Gyorgy Keleti, said, after signing the accord with his Romanian counterpart, Victor Babiuc, in the Hungarian city of Debrecen near the Romanian border.
"We have also agreed to set up a joint Hungarian-Romanian peace-keeping battalion for use with Nato, the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe."
Hungary's defence ministry official responsible for Nato integration, Istvan Gyarmati, said he and his Romanian counterpart had been entrusted with working out the details of the new unit. Mr Gyarmati added that the Romanian part of the new battalion will be based in Romania and the Hungarian part in Hungary, with a joint command and joint exercises.
Mr Keleti said the agreement on the protection and exchange of military secrets was Hungary's first with an east European neighbour. "It will entitle us to exchange important military information," he said. "So far, we only have such agreements with the United States, Germany and Sweden."
Bucharest's new centre-right government, elected last November after seven years of rule by ex-Communists, is trying to boost Romania's chances of early admission to Nato by developing a new partnership with Hungary.
Romania's new president, Emil Constantinescu, appointed two leaders of Hungary's ethnic minority to his government, while foreign minister Adrian Severin's first trip abroad was to Hungary, to exchange ratified basic treaty documents with his Hungarian counterpart, Laszlo Kovacs.
The treaty, signed in September, aims to end old quarrels by guaranteeing Romania's western borders and ensuring the rights of Romania's 1.6 million ethnic Hungarians. It is seen as vital to the ambitions of Romania and Hungary to move closer to Europe.
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
Evany José Metzker dead: Decapitated body of Brazilian journalist and blogger investigating child prostitution ring found
Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...