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President Gašparovič and Rasmussen discuss NATO strategy priorities

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič met NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday, October 22, with the talks focused mainly on future relations between the Alliance and Russia, along with the Balkans region, the TASR newswire wrote.

Slovak President Ivan Gašparovič met NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Thursday, October 22, with the talks focused mainly on future relations between the Alliance and Russia, along with the Balkans region, the TASR newswire wrote.

“I may have also had difficult questions for Mr. Rasmussen concerning the future Strategic Concept but I was content with the answers,” said Gašparovič, who told TASR that he had asked the NATO secretary-general why Slovakia isn't represented in a specialised group of experts dealing with the new NATO strategy.

Rasmussen replied that it doesn't matter whether the country is represented among the experts or not, as the strategy will be a matter for public discussion and the comments of all states will be taken into consideration.

Gašparovič and Rasmussen agreed on the most important questions concerning international missions. Rasmussen sketched out a vision of a strategic partnership with Russia, which would involve a joint NATO-Russian review of 21st century threats and practical co-operation in dealing with common security problems.

According to Rasmussen, shared NATO-Russian interests include Afghanistan, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction with particular focus on nuclear weapons and an anti-missile shield. He also presented NATO's open-door policy, which includes the issue of the Western Balkans. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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