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NEWS BRIEFS

Ambassadors briefed on state of the nation

Slovakia's 51 ambassadors to nations around the world gathered in Bratislava from June 28 to July 2, to hear addresses from senior government members and discuss various important foreign policy issues. On the opening day of the conference, Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan reported on Slovakia's foreign political priorities, followed on June 29 by newly-elected President Rudolf Schuster, Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda, and Speaker of Parliament Jozef Migaš.

Also on June 29, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Integration Pavol Hamžík reported on Slovakia's pre-entry preparations and evaluated the use of PHARE programmes. Defense Minister Pavol Kanis, Agriculture Minister Pavel Koncoš, and Culture Minister Milan Knažko addressed the participants later in the week.

Economy Minister Ľudovít Černák gave the ambassadors a prognosis of the country's economic development, while Finance Minister Brigita Schmögnerová provided insight into Slovakia's OSCE entry process, privatization, restructuring of the banking sector, and recovery of foreign debts.

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