DIPLOMATIC SHORTS

Kubiš discusses visa-free regime in Washington

IN WASHINGTON, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš informed the United States Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte about "the progress Slovakia has made in the fulfilment of safety criteria required by new American legislation as a precondition for being admitted to the US Visa Waiver Programme, the SITA newswire wrote.

IN WASHINGTON, Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš informed the United States Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte about "the progress Slovakia has made in the fulfilment of safety criteria required by new American legislation as a precondition for being admitted to the US Visa Waiver Programme, the SITA newswire wrote.

The Slovak Foreign Ministry's press department further stated that Kubiš asked Negroponte for "continuous active cooperation in this issue".

Kubiš also discussed current foreign political issues with Negroponte, including the latest development on determination of the status of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo, the situation in Afghanistan and the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest. The Slovak Foreign Minister also met with Alcee Hastings and Benjamin Cardin, the chairman and co-chairman of the US Helsinki Commission, and discussed the commission's visit to Slovakia. Members of the commission have announced their interest in getting more closely acquainted with the situation of the Roma minority in Slovakia and also discussing how to join forces in the fight against anti-Semitism.

In Washington, Kubiš also held talks with Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, who has been actively supporting Central and Eastern European countries' efforts to join the Visa Waiver Programme as soon as possible.

Kubiš also met with the Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a member of the Republican party and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In addition to the Visa Waiver Programme, they also discussed issues related to Kosovo, efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction and the NATO enlargement.

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