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High Italian officials urge US to hold off on Bulgaria

Senior Italian officials have asked the US Congress not to pass legislation punishing Bulgaria for alleged drug trafficking and for alleged involvement in the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, a senior US official said Tuesday. The Italians expressed concern that it would be viewed as undercutting their own investigation of the attempted murder of the Pope.

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The US Senate, in an amendment to a spending bill, voted last month to declare Bulgaria a ''terrorist'' nation for its alleged role in the papal assassination attempt.