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Visit to Australia by the Slovakian Foreign Minister.



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The Hon Stephen Smith MP AUSTRALIAN MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Media release

20 October 2008

Visit to Australia by the Slovakian Foreign Minister Today in Canberra I met with Slovakian Foreign Minister, Mr Ján Kubiš.

Mr KubiÅ¡’ visit, the first by a Slovak Foreign Minister in nine years, is an important milestone in engagement and cooperation between Australia and Slovakia.

Australia and the Slovak Republic enjoy a good bilateral relationship based on shared interests including people to people contact, modest two way trade and investment and international non-proliferation efforts.

Mr KubiÅ¡ and I discussed issues of mutual concern, including Australia and Slovakia’s commitment to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, where Slovakian forces will soon be serving alongside Australian troops in Oruzgan Province.

I was especially interested to hear Mr KubiÅ¡’ views on the current situation facing Georgia, the Balkans and Cyprus, given his expertise as Secretary General of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1999-2005.

Australia and the Slovak Republic also share a mutual interest in nuclear non-proliferation and are both active in multilateral forums on this matter.

Mr Kubiš will also meet the Minister for Trade later today.

Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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