|Updated: 30-Oct-2006||NATO Speeches|
25 Jan. 2005
by NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and the Prime Minister of Slovenia, H. E. Mr. Janez Jansa
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary General and the Prime Minister will each make brief opening statements, and if there are any questions they'll be happy to take them, Secretary General.
JAAP DE HOOP SCHEFFER (Secretary General of NATO): Let me start by saying that it gives me, of course, great pleasure to receive here for the first time Prime Minister Jansa of Slovenia. I've, of course, started to congratulate him on his new government, re-affirming that Slovenia is a staunch and important ally, participating in NATO operations in the Balkans, in Afghanistan, participating in the training mission in Iraq.
I'm of the opinion, as you know, that also the relatively smaller NATO Allies can make a difference and can make an important contribution to the success of NATO's operations and NATO's missions.
I have asked the Prime Minister, and he could confirm, that Slovenia is continuing its defence reform, defence restructuring, and that Slovenia will, in 2008, reach the targets of the two percent GDP in defence spending.
What we discussed, of course, were the... is the general NATO agenda. I mean, there is an informal defence ministers meeting in Nice shortly, in France. And of course, on the 22nd of February, in the presence of the Slovenia Prime Minister, we'll have the NATO summit, so we discussed the summit agenda, and NATO's different operations and mission, NATO's partnerships. So we had very interesting talks.
And when the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meets in Slovenia at the end of May I'll certainly use the opportunity to have some interesting bilateral contacts. The Prime Minister has invited me to come to Slovenia, and I'll certainly have discussions with him, with the Foreign Minister Rupel and others.
Let me also say that, of course, the Prime Minister comes looking also to Foreign Minister Rupel in a year, which is very important for Slovenia, because Foreign Minister Rupel is Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE. NATO is very much keen in having close contacts with international organizations. Foreign Minister Rupel, by the way, is coming to brief the North Atlantic Council tomorrow on the OSCE, on the status on his programs and projects. But today I'm very happy to receive the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister, over to you.
JANEZ JANSA (Prime Minister of Slovenia): Thank you very much, Secretary General. (continues in Slovenian)...
MODERATOR: Thank you. Please.
Q: Slovene Press Agency. For Prime Minister Jansa. Will the Slovene government also reconsider sending instructors to Iraq itself, and would NATO welcome this move, if it came to it?
JANSA: I'm sure it will, and we will consider. We will discuss this possibility. We expect much better or rather still, at least improving situation in Iraq after the elections, and as part of NATO we will try to do our best to contribute to the future stability.
DE HOOP SCHEFFER: And NATO, of course, will very much appreciate if it came to such a decision by the Slovenian government.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
JANSA: Thank you.
DE HOOP SCHEFFER: Thank you very much.