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Slovakia: Hungary Evaluating Proposals For Foreign Ministers' Meeting

Bratislava, 9 December 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Hungarian government officials are evaluating Slovakia's proposals for a meeting between foreign ministers in March and an experts' meeting next month, a Hungarian diplomat told RFE/RL Thursday.

"We are in the phase of studying the issue," Bratislava-based Hungarian diplomat Miklos Boros told RFE/RL over the weekend.

Our Bratislava correspondent reports that November 29 Slovakia's Foreign Minister Pavol Hamzik sent Hungary's Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs a letter, proposing a meeting date in March. In addition, Hamzik proposed that a bi-partisan committee of experts meet next month to discuss issues important to both sides. Those include the rights of the Hungarian minority living in southern Slovakia, as well as an ethnic languages law.

Slovakia is also seeking establishment of eight bi-lateral commissions to deal with various issues, according to Slovakia Foreign Affairs Ministry National Minorities Department Director, Juraj Zervan. Zervan said Slovakia is interested in having committees for minority issues, environment, culture and education, integration into European structures, health care and social issues, economics, crime and security, and science and technology.

While Boros said it is a "good sign" that Slovakia wants to establish the committees, he said Hungary believes one committee could do the job. Boros said Hungary will be responding to the Slovak Minister's letter "as soon as possible."