Weekly Review of Events in Slovenia from July 17 through 23

Ljubljana, 24 July - The Balkans Stability Pact-related activities dominated Slovene foreign affairs this week. Late in the week, the Italian parliament ended the general debate of the Slovene ethnic minority protection bill. President Milan Kucan attended in Vienna the international conference on the future of the Balkans, underlining in his address that implementing the pact could swing the door to Europe wide open to the Balkans. A declaration on how to bring stability to Southeastern Europe was adopted in Ljubljana at the conclusion of a meeting of representatives of 25 nongovernmental political institutions from Southeastern Europe which was organised by the Open Society Institute Slovenia in collaboration with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) from Brussels. The declaration calls for integration of entire Southeastern Europe, including Moldova, into the EU. U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Anthony Wayne, who is in charge of European and Canadian affairs, said in a videoconference that the U.S. expects state leaders who will gather in Sarajevo at the end of July to "give a jump start" to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. All countries in the region can contribute a great deal to successful implementation of the pact, said the official, adding that Slovenia, a peaceful country which has developed democratically, is expected "to play a very important and active role".

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