NATO Sec-Gen Expected in Slovenia on Thursday
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will visit Slovenia on Thursday. Talks with senior officials, including PM Janez Janša, President Danilo Türk and Parliamentary Speaker Gregor Virant, are scheduled.
Rasmussen's official visit comes at the invitation of the Slovenian prime minister; it is customary for the NATO secretary general to visit member states after they get new governments.
The topics expected to top the agenda will be the same as on the agenda of the recent summit in Chicago: the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan and smart defence.
Under current plans, NATO will remain in Afghanistan until 2014. Slovenia plans to reduce its presence from 90 tom 80 troops, but the government has pledged to participate in the mission until its scheduled end.
The summit also confirmed the concept of "smart defence", multinational projects designed to pool resources in order to maximise defence capabilities without additional defence spending.
Slovenia has decided to take part in eight smart defence projects.
Other topics to be broached include the situation in Syria, even though NATO insists that Syria be dealt with by the United Nations and the possibility of military intervention is currently excluded.
The Slovenian side is also expected to highlight Montenegro's bid to join the alliance, of which it has been a vocal advocate.
Slovenia wants NATO to extend a membership invitation to Montenegro at its next summit, but given the alliance's "enlargement fatigue", it is uncertain whether that will indeed happen.