OTTAWA, March 12 -- Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has welcomed the formal accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Chretien said in a statement today their accession 'symbolizes how far these three countries have come in making the transition to democracy and market economies' in the years since they broke away from Soviet domination. Canada was the first NATO member-state to formally ratify the accession of the three former Warsaw Pact countries to the Atlantic alliance. Chretien said, 'The enlargement process must go forward when the time is right.' ---
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