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Slovenia - Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Since Slovenia achieved its independence in 1991 the United States and Slovenia have developed strong, cooperative relations on a broad range of issues, from promoting regional security to developing closer bilateral trade and investment ties. The U.S. was very supportive of Slovenia's entrance into NATO and other Euro-Atlantic agreements and institutions.

The first official U.S. presence in Slovenia dates from the early 1970s, when the United States Information Service (USIS) opened a library and American press and cultural center in Ljubljana. From its opening through 1992, the American Center worked to develop closer grassroots relations between the United States and the people of the then-Slovenian Republic of Yugoslavia.

On December 23, 1990, the Slovene people voted in a plebiscite to separate from greater Yugoslavia. On June 25, 1991, the new Republic of Slovenia officially declared its independence from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A 10-day war commenced, during which Slovenian territorial troops fought off incursions by the Yugoslav National Army. The United States formally recognized the new republic on April 7, 1992. To develop U.S. diplomatic relations with the new state, the United States opened a new Embassy in Ljubljana in August 1992.

Since 1992, the United States and the Republic of Slovenia have developed an impressive track record of cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global issues. The United States has worked closely with the Slovenes to resolve succession issues stemming from the breakup of Yugoslavia. Slovenia provided invaluable assistance to the United States and NATO by facilitating the deployment of the Implementation Force (IFOR)--and subsequently SFOR--to Bosnia after the conclusion of the Dayton accords. With strong U.S. support, Slovenia has developed the ITF as the demining instrument of choice in the Balkans and is expanding operations to include the Caucasus.

On the economic front, the United States has worked to develop bilateral trade and investment with Slovenia. U.S. trade (imports and exports) with Slovenia for 2004 was $908 million. Under the Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act, the U.S. provided technical assistance on enterprise competitiveness, banking and pension reform, competition policy, and debt restructuring. Reflecting the progress Slovenia has made in these areas, Slovenia was among the first transition countries to 'graduate' from the SEED program.

The United States supported Slovenia's accession to the North Atlantic Alliance and continues to work with the Slovenian military to promote greater cooperation and interoperability with NATO forces. The United States and Slovenia hold periodic high-level security consultations to help Slovenia achieve this national objective. The U.S. European Command provides a liaison team that works with the Ministry of Defense full-time to develop greater familiarity with NATO structures and procedures.

In October 1997, Slovenia joined the group of countries--now numbering 27--whose citizens enjoy the privilege of visa-free travel to the United States.

In addition to regular diplomatic relations, numerous top-level visits on both sides have strengthened bilateral dialogue and contributed to deepening relations. President Bush met with then-President Milan Kucan and then-Prime Minister Janez Drnov?ek in Slovenia during the June 2001 summit between President Bush and Russian President Putin. Then-Prime Minister Drnov?ek met again with President Bush in Washington in May 2002. Defense Minister Anton Grizold and Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel traveled to Washington in September 2002. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Ljubljana in November 2002, following the NATO summit in Prague. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert traveled to Ljubljana in September 2003. Foreign Minister Rupel met with Secretary Rice several times in 2005 as the chairman of OSCE. In July 2006, Prime Minister Jansa traveled to the United States to meet with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rice, Speaker of the House Hastert, and 12 other members of Congress.

Given Slovenia's relative economic success and location, its history, language, business ties, and insights into the region, Slovenia can be a partner in advancing the shared goal of regional political and economic stability. More than geographically, Slovenia is a bridge from developed Europe into the Balkans, an area of the continent that poses significant diplomatic and security challenges.

Principal U.S. Official
Ambassador--Thomas Bolling Robertson
Deputy Chief of Mission--Maryruth Coleman
Political/Economic Chief--Colleen Hyland
Public Affairs Officer--Robert Post
Consular Officer--Paul Schultz
Management Officer--Will Steuer
Regional Security Officer--Teresa A. Teno
Defense Attache--Lieutenant Colonel Keith Harrington
Chief, Office of Defense Cooperation--Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Moty

The U.S. Embassy in Slovenia is located at Pre?ernova 31, 1000 Ljubljana (tel.: +386 (1) 200-5500; fax: +386 (1) 200-5555).

The American Corner - Koper, a partnership between the U.S. Embassy and the University of Primorska, is located at 4 Titov trg, 5000 Koper (tel.: +386 (0)5 611-7527; fax: 386 (0)5 611-7530).

Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Slovenian Tolar Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.

Facts at a Glance
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Slovenian Tolar Exchange Rates

Notes and Commentary
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.

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