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PM Sanader expects U.S. to ratify protocol on Croatia's admission into NATO

NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Hina) - The United States could become the third country to ratify the protocol on Croatia's admission into NATO because the ratification procedure in the Senate is in the final stage, Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader said in New York on Monday.

The Croatian PM is expected to briefly meet with the U.S. President George W. Bush in New York this evening, at a reception organised for foreign statesmen who gathered for the 63rd Annual Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The ratification of the protocol on Croatia's joining NATO will be on the agenda of the U.S. Senate committee on foreign affairs and if adopted it will be listed on the agenda of the Senate's plenary session, "so it is possible for the United States to be the third country to ratify the protocol on joining NATO," Sanader said.

The protocol on Croatia's admission into NATO must be ratified by all 26 NATO member states before it becomes effective. So far the document has been ratified by Hungary and Latvia.

Sanader said that during his brief meeting with Bush he would thank him on his successful visit to Zagreb and support to Croatia's membership of NATO.

The Croatian PM, who is taking part in a summit on the development of Africa, on Monday held talks with Austrian President Heinz Fisher and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.