France, Slovenia sign partnership accord

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France and Slovenia signed Monday in Paris a strategic partnership agreement aimed at intensifying their cooperation at the bilateral level and on major European issues.

President Nicolas Sarkozy signed for France and Prime Minister Borut Pahor for Slovenia.

After their meeting Sarkozy made a rare appearance before reporters to say how important for France the signing was and to back the Slovenian government's "modernisation efforts".

Pahor praised Slovenia's "very great closeness" with French positions on European and international issues, in particular Libya, and stressed the importance of the "necessary leadership" of the Franco-German tandem inside the eurozone.

He said he was pleased that Sarkozy "had paid attention to certain Slovenian views affecting the Balkans".

To ensure peace Slovenia is active in promoting the extension of the European Union to the countries of the south-east Balkans.

Slovenia became independent in 1991 and is the only former Yugoslav republic to be an EU member.

© 2011 AFP

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