November 24, 1998.
Prime Minister Mart Siimann met today at Toompea with Slovenia's PresidentMilan Kucan, who is on a state visit to Estonia.
Siimann and Kucan found that Estonia and Slovenia have the same prioritiessince both countries are striving for European Union and NATO membership.
According to Milan Kucan, the European Union that Estonia and Sloveniawill eventually join will be different from the present one. Kucan saidthat negotiations with European Union contain many technical questions,but he thinks that political dialogue with respect to Europe's future isalso necessary. "The kind of dialogue where large and small are equal isneeded," he added.
Siimann said that although he is definitely a euro-optimist, he is atthe same time a realist. The Prime Minister gave Kucan an overview of Estonia'sdevelopment in the last five to six years.
The Slovenian President stated that, like Estonia, Slovenia is addressingthe question of the state's administrative capacity. He said that the problemis present also in very developed countries.
Siimann expressed satisfaction over the fact that important agreements,such as free trade and visa-free travel, already exist between Estoniaand Slovenia. Plans to sign an agreement on investment protection and doubletaxation are in the works. Also, it is planned to establish a joint scientific-technicalprogram and to exchange information on tourism.
Siimann and Kucan also discussed NATO. The Slovenian President statedthat NATO's decision to invite Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary tobecome members was historic. Both the Slovenian President and the EstonianPrime Minister expressed hope that at the NATO Washington summit meetingmore will be heard than assurances about NATO's continued enlargement.