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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 26, 2003

Presidential Letter
Text of a Letter from the President to the Chairman of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and Armed Services, the House Committee on International Relations, and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

March 25, 2003

Dear Mr. Chairman:

On August 26, 2002, I submitted a report "regarding each country being actively considered for NATO membership." That report was prepared pursuant to section 3(2)(E)(i) of the Resolution of Ratification to the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949 on the Accession of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, adopted on April 30, 1998.

As you know, on November 22, 2002, I joined the other leaders of NATO in inviting Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia to become members of NATO. I am firmly convinced that the membership of these nations will advance the cause of freedom, and make NATO stronger for the future.

Section 3(2)(E)(ii) of the 1998 Resolution of Ratification requires classified and unclassified updates to the report submitted on August 26, 2002. As stated in that Resolution, "Prior to the signing of any protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of any country, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report, in classified and unclassified forms:

(I) updating the information contained in the report required under clause (i) with respect to that country; and

(II) including an analysis of that country's ability to meet the full range of the financial burdens of NATO membership, and the likely impact upon the military effectiveness of NATO of the country invited for accession talks, if the country were to be admitted to NATO."

I am hereby providing this updated report, as prepared by my Administration. In doing so, I note with appreciation the continued and strong bipartisan support that the Congress has shown on the issue of NATO enlargement.


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