IN SHORT

Armitage meets top Slovak officials

US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who visited Slovakia on September 14 said that the US did not take Slovakia's military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan for granted and thanked the country's soldiers in these missions.

Following a meeting with PM Mikuláš Dzurinda, Armitage also met with Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan and Defence Minister Juraj Liška. PM Dzurinda assured Armitage that Slovakia will fulfil its obligations in the fight against international terrorism, while the Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Juraj Tomaga, added that Slovakia does not plan to withdraw its troops from either Afghanistan or Iraq.

At a meeting with Slovak MPs, Armitage also said that he understood opposing views regarding US foreign policy and that he was open to listening to them.

"We can have different opinions and despite this we can remain friends," he said.

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