European trojka met with political leadership of Slovenia

Ljubljana, 3 August - The foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Portugal met with the political leadership of Slovenia at Brdo pri Kranju today for talks on the implementation of ceasefire agreements and the situation in Croatia. After the meeting the Dutch foreign minister expressed satisfaction at the situation in Slovenia at present. The priority now is Croatia, he said. He underlined the need for reaching an early and credible accord on ceasefire, otherwise Croatia will soon be faced with the rule of force which no one would be able to halt. The EC mission will stay in Slovenia for some time yet. The Dutch foreign minister assessed relations between the Eropean Community and Slovenia as good, but spoke with great reservations about the recognition of the Republic of Slovenia. President of the Republic of Slovenia, Milan Kučan, said at a press conference that Slovenia feels responsible for the situation in Croatia too. The precondition for a start on the elimination of causes of the crisis is an immediate end to use of force. The troika noted that Slovenia had invested great efforts to date in the implementation of the Brioni declaration and had long since opted for a European future, the latter being one of the reasons Slovenia places trust in the twelve, Kučan said. In assessing the situation in Croatia, Kučan said that it would be very difficult for the twelve to become fully engaged in Croatia unless a ceasefire occurred there. It will be very difficult to resolve the crisis without the internationalzation, and the problem in this case is the leadership of Serbia which opposes internationalization, he said. He insisted that every effort should be made to try to solve the problem by political means in the first place, and the European countries' military forces may join in the effort only after that. If the clashes continue for long time yet, the European Security and Cooperation Conference and the United Nations should be included too, Kučan continued. The ministerial troika this afternoon left for Belgrade and met with federal secretary for foreign affairs Budimir Lončar. Later in the afternoon it will meet with president of the Presidency of Serbia, Slobodan Milošević.

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