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IN SHORT

Fico discussed bilateral relations with Queen Beatrix

QUEEN BEATRIX of the Netherlands paid a three-day visit to Slovakia, from May 21 to May 23.

She met with Prime Minister Robert Fico and discussed improving bilateral relations between the Netherlands and Slovakia, Slovakia's role in the EU and the UN Security Council, and its economic development. The Dutch monarch met with Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška on the same day.

This first-ever visit of a Dutch monarch to Slovakia came about at President Ivan Gašparovič's invitation. The president and his wife Silvia met Queen Beatrix at the Presidential Palace at the beginning of the visit.

On Tuesday, Queen Beatrix had a tour of Bratislava with Bratislava's Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský, took part in a seminar on multilingualism in Europe and discussed the changes that have taken place in Slovakia since 1989.

During her visit, the Queen also met with business representatives. She finished her three-day visit to Slovakia with a trip to Košice on May 23, which she began with a visit to the historical City Hall, where mayor František Knapík presented her with a copy of the city's coat-of-arms, which dates back to 1369 and is supposed to be the oldest in Europe. Later, she visited the Green School in Družstevná pri Hornáde, which specialises in environmental education, and the Music Conservatory in Košice.

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