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Slovakia: Meciar Denies He Wrote Letter To Romania's Iliescu

Amsterdam, 27 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - Slovakia's Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar today categorically denied he wrote a letter to Romania's former President Ion Iliescu, calling for Iliescu's return to power and for their close association with Moscow on security issues.

At a European Union meeting in Amsterdam, Meciar told RFE/RL the letter is a "fake." He referred to the incident as a provokation to embarass him, Iliescu -- now the leader of Romania's opposition -- and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Press reports across Slovakia today cited the alleged letter to Iliescu, and some of the reports quoted it as also mentioning Milosevic. The letter was written in English and printed on stationary from Meciar's party, the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS).

Meciar today met in Amsterdam with Romania's current President Emil Constantinescu and said they had a friendly meeting. Meciar says he asked Constantinescu to look into what Meciar said was the likely fabrication of the letter in Romania.

Contacted by RFE/RL, a spokesperson for Iliescu's party denied that Iliescu ever received a letter from Meciar resembling the one published today by the Romanian newspaper "Romania Libera." Spokeswoman Corina Cretu said that the issue was raised first last month by another newspaper, and that the existence of the letter was denied then, as well.