THIS MAY PROVE A WATERshed year for Slovenian foreign policy.1 Ljubljana has scored a series of foreign policy gains under Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler's guidance, particularly in bilateral relations with neighboring Italy.2 Thaler, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) - which is part of the governing coalition - assumed his post in January, replacing Lojze Peterle, who tendered his resignation in fall 1994 after a series of long-standing disagreements with other government members. Whether Thaler's diplomatic skills and overall strategies were crucial to Slovenia's recent foreign policy gains - and whether his achievements will prove irreversible - remains to be seen. What is beyond doubt, however, is that the new minister's personality and management style are assets to his department's work - and perhaps to his country's goal of integration into Western political and economic structures.
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