Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia from 12 to 18 May

Ljubljana, 19 May - The week closed with sensational news that the U.S. and Russian Presidents, George Bush and Vladimir Putin, are to hold their first meeting in the Slovene capital in June, at the end of Bush's five-nation trip to Europe. A fresh round of negotiations on the succession to former Yugoslavia was launched in Vienna, where a framework succession agreement is to be drafted during ten days of talks. No agreements were reached in the first week, when the issue of bank deposits in the territory of former Yugoslavia was addressed.

Last week Slovenia withdrew the demand to temporarily keep favourable trade regimes with Croatia and Macedonia after EU accession, a move that will enable the country to close two more chapters of the acquis, namely that on foreign economic relations and that on the customs union. Encouraging news came from the EU, which confirmed the assessment that the emergence of BSE in Slovenia is unlikely but not excluded, which Ljubljana saw as an acknowledgement of Slovenia's agriculture and veterinary service.

As in the past term, the Slovene minority in Italy will have its representative in the new composition of the Italian Senate as well, as Milos Budin, a candidate of the Olive, was elected to the Senate.

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