RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 23, 3 February 1999
DZURINDA OUTLINES HOPES FOR CZECH-SLOVAK TIES. Slovak
Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda told "Mlada fronta Dnes"
in Davos on 2 February that he not only expects but
counts on support from Prague to promote Slovakia's
integration into Euro-Atlantic structures. He regretted
that Slovakia has fallen far behind Poland, Hungary, and
the Czech Republic in their common quest for membership
in the EU and NATO. The prime minister stressed that
Slovak membership in the EU would work to the advantage
of the Czech Republic. He commented that "Slovak-Czech
relations can be as close as our history and way of life
are close." Illegal immigration and drug-trafficking are
problems the two countries can work on solving together,
he said, adding that student exchanges should be
increased and the question of dual citizenship solved in
the near future. PM
KUKAN SAYS SLOVAKIA MUST CATCH UP. Slovak Foreign
Minister Eduard Kukan said in Bonn on 2 February that
the only reason why his country was not included in the
first wave of NATO membership was political. By this, he
meant that Western countries did not regard the regime
of former Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar sufficiently
democratic for membership in Euro-Atlantic structures.
Kukan argued that the Slovak army is just as good as its
Polish, Czech, or Hungarian counterparts but that
Slovakia must now make extra efforts to overcome the
negative image abroad bequeathed by Meciar. Kukan
stressed that the task of catching up has often proved
"frustrating," the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung"
quoted him as saying. German Foreign Minister Joschka
Fischer told Kukan that Slovak citizens' claims against
Germany dating from World War II will be considered on
an individual rather than collective basis, "Sme"
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY MINISTER VISITS HUNGARY. Nabil Ali
Saat, minister of planning and cooperation for the
Palestinian Authority, met with Hungarian Foreign
Minister Janos Martonyi and Economic Minister Attila
Chikan on 2 February in Budapest to discuss boosting
ties. Martonyi told Hungarian media that Hungary wants
to become one of the Palestinian Authority's donor
countries. Saat expressed the hope that the two
countries will represent a bridge between the EU and the
Arab world. He added that Palestinian Authority
President Yasser Arafat would like to visit Hungary. MSZ
Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
All rights reserved.