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Weekly Review of Events Involving Slovenia between 20 and 26 July

Ljubljana, 27 July - The eagerly anticipated meeting of Slovene Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel and his outgoing Croatian counterpart Tonino Picula was undoubtedly the highlight of this week's events on the political scene, however, the two officials refrained from discussing the unresolved bilateral issues and merely confirmed both countries' interest for a continuation of good relations. Some progress in Slovene-Croatian relations has nevertheless been made this week, as Croatia opened a consulate in the Slovene coastal city of Koper, its second in Slovenia. Relations with another former Yugoslav republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, have become strained lately as well. After President Milan Kucan said in Sarajevo last week that the issue of foreign currency deposits of Bosnian citizens at the former Slovene bank Ljubljanska banka should be discussed on a bilateral level, which was immediately rejected by the Slovene government, Kucan wrote this week to Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek, calling upon the government to strategically re-examine relations with Bosnia. While relations with Croatia and Bosnia are being assessed, political parties will already be gearing up for the autumn elections, after Parliament Speaker Borut Pahor made it official that presidential and local elections would be held on 10 November, while elections to the National Council would take place on 27 and 28 November.

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© STA, 2002