Updated: 12-Feb-2003 February 2003

10 Feb. 2003


Slovenian Prime Minister visits NATO

The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Mr. Anton Rop, visited NATO Headquarters on 10 February for talks with Secretary General Lord Robertson.

Slovenia is one of seven countries currently engaged in accession talks to join NATO. It is expected that it will join the Alliance at the latest at the next NATO Summit in May 2004, together with the other applicant countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.

Speaking at a press conference following their meeting, Lord Robertson welcomed the Slovenian government’s commitment to increase defence expenditure and to improve Slovenia’s defence capabilities. He also underscored the importance of the upcoming referendum in Slovenia on NATO membership, scheduled for 23 March.

“The people of Slovenia are being offered an opportunity in the next few weeks to give their judgement on the government's decision to apply for membership of NATO and I hope that they act with the seriousness and the maturity that I know people in Slovenia have,” Lord Robertson said. “It's a big vote, an important vote, and membership of NATO is an important thing.”

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