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Opposition slams PM Fico's foreign policy

AT A MEETING held on January 22 the leaders of Slovakia's opposition parties agreed to write an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Fico, expressing their "deep concern" over his latest moves in foreign policy.

The leaders of the right-wing former ruling Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), and Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) said that the prime minister's recent actions pose a real threat to Slovakia in that it might find itself slipping from the position of respected partner to that of marginal partner in the EU and NATO decision-making processes.

Opposition representatives wrote to Fico that his recent participation at a celebration commemorating the Cuban communist revolution was a hasty decision and a mistake that has shaken the confidence of many Slovak citizens that human rights will be protected.

Opposition leaders pointed out that so far Slovakia has supported efforts to re-establish a democratic regime in Cuba, including the freeing of political prisoners. "Your participation as prime minister at a reception held at the Cuban Embassy on the occasion of the anniversary of the communist revolution is a sign to us that the current Slovak government has decided to change its attitude towards the protection of human rights in Cuba," states the letter.

The opposition is also seriously concerned about Fico's planned trips to Venezuela and Libya. Both countries are run by internationally isolated regimes. Clearly formulated opinions on similar countries in the past are what opened the doors for Slovakia to join the EU and NATO, writes the opposition. The letter suggests that PM Fico is not sufficiently aware of his responsibility for Slovakia's foreign policy and calls on Fico to reconsider the prepared visits to Libya and Venezuela.

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