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GUEST COLUMN

New government asks for NATO fast-track status

Dear Secretary General,
The decision of the Slovak people in the Parliamentary elections in September has clearly given a mandate to our four parties - the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK), the Party of the Democratic Left (SDĽ), the Party of the Hungarian Coalition (SMK) and the Party of Civil Understanding(SOP) - to introduce significant political and economic changes in Slovakia. We are committed to forming a strong, stable and effective government for the next four years, one firmly devoted to democratic principles with full respect for the rule of law.
Taking into account the provisions of the Slovak constitution, we expect the new government to be formally in place within a few days. At this stage, we have agreed on the composition of the new government, as well as on its political and economic priorities and programme framework.

His Excellency Javier Solana, Secretary general, NATO, Brussels

Dear Secretary General,

The decision of the Slovak people in the Parliamentary elections in September has clearly given a mandate to our four parties - the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK), the Party of the Democratic Left (SDĽ), the Party of the Hungarian Coalition (SMK) and the Party of Civil Understanding(SOP) - to introduce significant political and economic changes in Slovakia. We are committed to forming a strong, stable and effective government for the next four years, one firmly devoted to democratic principles with full respect for the rule of law.

Taking into account the provisions of the Slovak constitution, we expect the new government to be formally in place within a few days. At this stage, we have agreed on the composition of the new government, as well as on its political and economic priorities and programme framework.

One of the key priorities of the incoming government is quickly to revitalise our NATO integration policy and speed up the integration process to the EU, and to start real negotiations on our accession as soon as possible. Our task is to fulfill our promise to the people of Slovakia and to return our country to the group of front-runners where Slovakia naturally belongs. Therefore, in this regard, the incoming government will be strongly committed to fulfilling all integration criteria at the earliest possible stage. The way our parliamentary elections were conducted confirmed a deep respect for democratic values shared by the Slovak people. All new parliamentary committees and supervisory boards will be created according to proportional representation of the political parties in the National Council of the Slovak Republic, and the rights of the new opposition will be fully respected. Adoption of legislative provisions concerning the use of minority languages can be expected in the horizon determined by our legislative procedures.

We hope that you will be able to meet representatives of the new government led by the Prime Minister at the earliest possible convenience to discuss issues important for both Slovakia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.


Yours Sincerely,


Mikuláš Dzurinda, SDK Chairman
Jozef Migaš, SDĽ Chairman
Béla Bugár, SMK Chairman
Rudolf Schuster, SOP Chairman
Bratislava, October 29, 1998

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