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NATO Ministers Meet in Brussels


NATO ministers are meeting in Brussels Thursday to discuss a wide range of issues - from expanding the alliance's role in Afghanistan and Iraq to the situation in Ukraine.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell reached out to European nations ahead of the meeting. He acknowledged that tensions over the Iraq war had affected relations with Europe, but said the United States is making new efforts to mend ties. President Bush is expected in Brussels in February.

High on Thursday's NATO agenda will be expansion of the alliance's peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and a training mission for Iraqi officers being set in Baghdad.

The ministers will also discuss the crisis in Ukraine with their Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. There are growing tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine. Russia has warned against foreign interference in Ukraine's political crisis.

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