Washington, 25 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has expressed concern about minority rights and the slow pace of democratization in Slovakia.
The U.S. State Department says Albright raised the issue in talks yesterday with visiting Slovak Foreign Minister Pavol Hamzik.
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns today said Albright urged the Slovak government to pass a minority language law, give members of the opposition a chance to be represented in government, and improve media freedoms.
Burns said Slovakia has made impressive economic progress and Albright took note of that in the talks. But, he said Slovakia lags behind almost all its neighbors in internal democratization.
He said Hamzik spoke about Slovakia's desire to join NATO and aspirations to become integrated into all major western institutions.