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Post-Soviet GUAM To Become GUUAM

April 19, 1999

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) _ Few people know that a sizable chunk of the former Soviet Union shares its name with a remote Pacific island. But that is about to end anyway.

GUAM _ an alliance of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova _ is about to add Uzbekistan to its ranks and become GUUAM, according to a report Monday.

Leaders of the five former Soviet republics are planning to meet in Washington next week during celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of NATO, the ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies reported.

In addition to welcoming Uzbekistan to their fold, the nations are expected to consider a treaty that would redefine their relationship, which now is limited to consultation.

At a news conference, Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze refused to say what the new relationship would be, but said the draft treaty agreement does not include military cooperation.

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