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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hungary's NATO Vote May Face Delay

BUDAPEST, Hungary -- Hungary's NATO referendum may be delayed from Nov. 16, but talks on joining the alliance should not be affected, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Gabor Horvath said the referendum might be delayed until Nov. 23 or later because, as reported in the media, parliament failed to act urgently on the matter Tuesday.

The reports of the delay came as Hungary was due to begin its first round of accession talks with officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels.

In July, NATO invited three former Soviet-bloc nations -- Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic -- to join the alliance from April 1999.

"But according to all the information we have, NATO sources and NATO countries clearly believe that the issue of the referendum is something that Hungary will have to decide," Horvath said.