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UPDATED: 08:59, December 19, 2006
Slovenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina sign defense cooperation agreement
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Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina signed on Monday an agreement on the cooperation in the area of defense, dealing primarily with collective training of soldiers, crisis management training, and cooperation in peace-keeping missions.

"The signing presents the strengthening of friendly relations between the two countries and their armed forces," Slovenian Defense Minister Karl Erjavec was quoted as saying by the national news agency STA.

Erjavec signed the agreement with his counterpart from Bosnia- Herzegovina Nikola Radovanovic in the Slovenian town of Otocec.

According to Erjavec, the agreement, for which the final details were already defined in June, is a good foundation for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries, including assistance to Bosnia-Herzegovina on its way to NATO membership.

On Thursday, Bosnia-Herzegovina joined NATO's outreach program Partnership for Peace along with Montenegro and Serbia.

Erjavec told the press that Slovenia supported the entrance of Bosnia into the partnership because it felt that Bosnia had been implementing defense reforms.

One of the priorities of Slovenian defense policy is the region of Southeast Europe, primarily stabilization of relations and enhancement of cooperation among countries in the area, he said.

Radovanovic said the agreement reflects good relations between the two countries, adding that the entrance into the partnership is a step towards NATO membership and long-term stability in the country.

Source: Xinhua

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