At the occasion
of the visit
of the President
of Slovenia
to the NATO

5 Oct. 1998

Welcome speech

by Ambassador von Richthofen

Mr. President,

I am pleased to welcome you very warmly on behalf of the members of the North Atlantic Council and the Three Invited Countries at this meeting today, which marks an important step in our intensified individual dialogue with Slovenia.

Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has made remarkable progress in building a strong and stable democracy and in establishing a market economy. Slovenia has at the same time been very actively engaged in deepening its political and military involvement in the work of the Alliance. We are very satisfied with the active relationship that Slovenia has developed with NATO, and with its constructive participation both in the Euro - Atlantic Partnership Council and in the enhanced Partnership for Peace.

We are indeed impressed by the unshakable commitment of your country, and of you personally, to Slovenia's full integration into Euro - Atlantic structures.


The North Atlantic Council has reaffirmed at its Luxembourg meeting in May that the door remains open to NATO membership under Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty and in accordance with the terms set out in Pragraph 8 of the Madrid Summit Declaration. You can be assured that we are all aware of the strong interest of Slovenia to join the Alliance as soon as possible, and of the enormous effort that your country is undertaking in order to build a strong relation with NATO.

We welcome the considerable progress that Slovenia has made in reorganising its armed forces and in establishing democratic control over the armed forces. The military reform programme in your country is proceeding well.The approach taken will, over time, provide good interoperability with NATO forces.

We are looking forward to hear today your assessment of the situation in Slovenia and its relationship with NATO.

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