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President Pahor and the Emir of Qatar in favour of strengthening all-round cooperation between the two countries

Doha, Qatar, 23. 3. 2022 | press release

At the invitation of the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is paying an official visit to Qatar today and tomorrow. President Pahor is accompanied by the Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, Jernej Vrtovec, and the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Andrej Vizjak. The official visit is taking place in circumstances in which our country is also looking for partners to diversify its energy sources.

President Pahor and the Emir of Qatar in favour of strengthening all-round cooperation between the two countries
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The official reception with military honours was followed by plenary talks between the delegations of the State of Qatar and the Republic of Slovenia, which were led by the Emir of Qatar and the President of the Republic of Slovenia. President Pahor and Emir Al Thani then held a lengthy one-on-one conversation, followed by a luncheon hosted by the Emir of Qatar in honour of President Pahor, to which the most important representatives of the Qatari Government were invited.

President Pahor and the Emir of Qatar in favour of strengthening all-round cooperation between the two countries
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

President Pahor and Emir Al Thani confirmed the friendly bilateral relations and agreed that political cooperation was very good. As this year Slovenia and Qatar are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, President Pahor was grateful for the opportunity to pay an official visit at that time. Emir Al Thani acknowledged the many similarities in their views, noting that, as leaders of small and young countries, they were aware of the importance of finding peaceful solutions to all conflicts and of the irreplaceable value of having friends in today’s world.

The two considered that there were ample opportunities to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, notably in energy, sustainable development, tourism and investments. The Slovenian President stressed that Slovenia was a reliable and attractive investment destination, particularly for investments in tourism, transport and infrastructure. As one of Slovenia’s advantages, President Pahor highlighted its exceptional geographical location in Central Europe at the meeting point with South-Eastern Europe, where Slovenia plays a very special and prominent role in the Western Balkans region in general. Slovenia is a member of the EU, the euro zone and the OECD and has good and friendly relations with all its neighbours, as with all EU Member States and the Western Balkans.

President Pahor invited Emir Al Thani to pay an official visit to Slovenia, who kindly accepted the invitation, announcing that he would visit Slovenia as early as May. A business delegation will visit Slovenia beforehand to examine concrete forms of cooperation.

The leaders paid particular attention to international issues, with a focus on the war in Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East and the Western Balkans. Emir Al Thani briefed President Pahor on Qatar’s efforts in mediation for peace in the wider Middle East. This, he said, was a great opportunity for small countries to act as intermediaries and contribute to solving major problems.

President Pahor highlighted the importance of the Western Balkans region, especially in terms of current security. Due to geographical proximity and close economic ties, the stability, reform progress and integration of the countries in the region into Euro–Atlantic structures are in Slovenia’s and Europe’s strategic interest, the Slovenian President pointed out.

In the afternoon, President Pahor visited the Parliament of Qatar, where he was received by the Speaker of the Qatari Parliament, Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanim, and a delegation. He congratulated the Speaker and the Members of Parliament, saying that it was an honour to visit the Parliament, which had recently evolved from the Consultative Assembly to a representative and legislative body with members elected by direct elections. Speaker Al-Ghanim said that the official visit of the Slovenian President would certainly give a new impetus to the all-round deepening of cooperation between the two countries, including between their parliaments. At the end of the meeting, he showed the Slovenian President around the meeting room of the Qatari Parliament.

President Pahor and the Emir of Qatar in favour of strengthening all-round cooperation between the two countries
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

Tomorrow, President Pahor will meet with representatives of the leadership of the Qatar Fund for Development and speak at the opening of an international forum organised by the Qatar Leadership Centre. President Pahor will give an opening address to the forum.

As part of President Pahor’s official visit, the hosts organised separate bilateral meetings for Ministers Vrtovec and Vizjak.

President Pahor and the Emir of Qatar in favour of strengthening all-round cooperation between the two countries
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA