US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked "the government and people of the Slovak Republic for their continued commitment to promoting and defending our shared values around the world," the SITA newswire reported.
In talks with Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda on October 20, she remarked that the Slovak contribution to the NATO mission in Afghanistan is helping the Afghan people build a more secure and prosperous future. "We are greatly impressed by and honour the service of Slovak soldiers serving alongside American troops," she stated, as quoted by SITA.
Clinton said that Slovakia is crucial in terms of the integration process of the Western Balkans and the country's eastern neighbours into Euro-Atlantic structures and is a good example of the benefits that come with broader integration into the European Community.
The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry press department informed the TASR newswire that Clinton expressed her appreciation for the friendly relations with Slovakia, which, she added, has undergone a significant transition from a country locked behind the Iron Curtain into a vibrant democracy. The two diplomats discussed issues concerning the Balkans and Eastern Europe, including energy security and the protection of minorities.
According to Dzurinda, three areas were discussed at the meeting, with the first, and most important, being political dialogue. "I pointed out that Slovakia is currently presiding over the Visegrad Four countries [Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary]. I mentioned the upcoming meeting of V4 foreign affairs ministers with their partners from the Western Balkans, which will take place in Bratislava on Friday.
A ministerial meeting with our partners from Eastern Europe will take place at the beginning of next year, which is a demonstration of our efforts and interest in the Eastern Partnership," said Dzurinda. The second part of the discussion concerned defence and military co-operation, while economic co-operation featured at the end.
Source: SITA, TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
21. Oct 2010 at 14:00