Yearly Review of Slovenia's International Activities form 1 January through 15 December 1997
Ljubljana, 22 December - SLOVENIA/INTERNATIONAL/ACTIVITIES/REVIEW/1997
Slovenia was one of five Central and Eastern European countries that were invited, together with Cyprus to start negotiations on full EU membership at the EU summit in Luxembourg on 12 and 13 December. This was a watershed in its process of integration with the European nations. Even if omitted on 8 and 9 July form the group that would join NATO in the first round, Slovenia continued to co-operate with NATO, particularly through the Partnership for Peace programme. In mid-October, Slovenia was elected a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 1998/1999 in the group of Eastern European countries. The Slovene Army joined an Austrian unit to participate in a peace-keeping operation in Cyprus, thus taking part in the UN international peace-keeping forces for the first time. It joined the spring peace-keeping mission in Albania, while some members of the Slovene armed forces participated in S-for units in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). Slovenia has been actively involved in the MAPE II operation since November; it trains Albanian units in the framework of the Western European Union (WEU).
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