24 - 30 June 1999
Issue No. 435
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875|
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BILATERAL ties, the situation in the Balkans and the Middle East peace process were the main issues in Sunday's talks between President Hosni Mubarak and Slovenian Prime Minister Jnez Drnovsek.
Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzouri and Trade and Supply Minister Ahmed El-Guweili were present at the talks. Drnovsek told reporters afterwards that his visit was an important step for intensifying cooperation between the two countries. He added that relations with Egypt were friendly and that he had met President Mubarak several times over the past 10 years.
Asked on the situation in the Balkans, Drnovsek said that it has improved following the settlement between NATO and Yugoslavia, although many difficulties remain to be overcome before a durable peace can be achieved. He described the situation as tense, but expressed hope that it would improve gradually. Drnovsek said the international community should begin the effort of rebuilding Kosovo and ensuring the return of all refugees. He added that UN peace-keeping forces should have a presence in Kosovo for at least five years, especially in the villages and towns surrounding the Kosovar capital, Pristina.
The Slovenian prime minister did not directly call for the downfall of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, but stated that it would be difficult for the international community to contribute to the rebuilding of Serbia as long as Milosevic remained in office. Drnovsek argued that a change was required in Serbia in order to achieve stability in Yugoslavia as a whole.
In earlier talks between Ganzouri and Drnovsek, Egypt and Slovenia agreed to boost cooperation in the fields of textile industries, transport and agriculture. The Slovenian visitor also expressed interest in investing money in the Toshka project in the southwestern desert, reclaiming land there to produce vegetables and fruits and exporting them to Slovenia and the rest of Europe.