Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bush Praises Ukraine Democracy, Calls for Path to NATO Membership

U.S. President George W. Bush says he strongly supports a bid by Ukraine and Georgia to start the process of NATO membership, the comments came during a stop in Kyiv on his way to the NATO summit in Romania.

Go to VOA News original
After a formal arrival ceremony, complete with military honor guard and red carpet, President Bush and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko got down to business in the Ukrainian capital.

They met for several hours, first alone and then with top aides. Topping the agenda was Ukraine's bid for a NATO membership plan, or MAP

"My position is absolutely solid. Ukraine and Georgia should be given MAP," he said.

At a joint news conference, Mr. Bush praised Ukraine's young democracy, and said if the alliance gives the Ukrainians a set of guideposts for membership it will bolster efforts to implement reforms.

"Your nation has made a bold decision and the United States strongly supports your request," said Mr. Bush.

President Yushchenko will personally make the case for membership in NATO to alliance members later this week in Romania. But observers say the chances that Ukraine and Georgia, which has also put in a bid, will win approval in Bucharest are slim.


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