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Lithuanian, Latvian MPs Approve New EU Treaty


The parliaments of Lithuania and Latvia have approved the European Union's new reform treaty.

The treaty, which must be approved by all 27 EU states to take effect, will give the bloc a long-term president and a more powerful foreign policy chief, while streamlining its decision-making.

In Vilnius Thursday, well more than half of the country's 141 lawmakers endorsed the charter by a vote of 83 to 23. In Riga, 70 of 100 Latvian legislators approved the document -- a simplified version of the bloc's draft constitution that was rejected by French and Dutch lawmakers in 2005.

Legislators in Germany and Denmark approved the charter late last month.

Today's vote brings to 13 the number of EU states that have given final approval to the draft.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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