President Pahor hosts President of the Portuguese Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on official visit to Slovenia
Ljubljana, 31. 5. 2021 | press release
At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, the President of the Portuguese Republic, Dr Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is paying an official visit to Slovenia today and tomorrow.
Following an official reception with military honours, President de Sousa laid a wreath at the Monument to the Victims of All Wars and Victims Connected with Wars in Congress Square in Ljubljana.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
Presidents Pahor and de Sousa then had a private meeting, followed by plenary talks between the official delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and the Portuguese Republic, headed by their respective presidents.
The two presidents exchanged decorations during the official visit: President Pahor conferred the Order for Exceptional Services on President de Sousa for contributions to the development of friendship ties between the Republic of Slovenia and the Portuguese Republic and deepening the full cooperation and links between the two countries for a secure European future under a common set of values. President of the Portuguese Republic then presented his Slovenian counterpart with the Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator, the highest decoration of Portugal.
At the press conference that followed the talks, President Pahor once again warmly welcomed the President of the Portuguese Republic. President de Sousa’s visit is one of the first since his re-election at the beginning of this year and one of the first since the end of the third wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. This is a great honour for Slovenia, given that Portugal holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, said President Pahor.
President Pahor and President de Sousa today continued their talks on topics that the presidents of Slovenia, Portugal and Germany discussed at yesterday's working meeting in Brdo. President Pahor said that the meeting had been excellent, as the presidents had had the opportunity to exchange views “on the most important issues concerning the peace and prosperity of Europeans”.
The two statesmen reiterated the importance of the unity of Europe and expressed their commitment to the European idea. “In this situation, which is difficult not only because of COVID-19, it is our responsibility, the responsibility of the leaders of this generation, to find ways to find compromise but take decisive steps to safeguard the security and well-being of Europeans, to restore confidence in common institutions and to encourage everybody to think, I dare say also dream, about new horizons of our common future,” said President Pahor.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
President de Sousa briefed President Pahor on the course of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU during this difficult time. President Pahor expressed his wish for Slovenia to be very ambitious in planning and conducting its Presidency of the EU Council. In doing so, he urged that we should make every effort to do this job with excellence.
Presidents Pahor and de Sousa agreed that the Conference on the Future of Europe, which began during the Portuguese Presidency and will continue during the Slovenian Presidency, is an opportunity to recall the importance of the EU, which is a peace and reconciliation project based on the inalienable values of human rights, freedom of the media and the rule of law. They also addressed the need for a significantly faster enlargement of the EU in the Western Balkans. President Pahor acquainted his counterpart with the course of the summit of the leaders of the Brdo–Brijuni Process initiative and the central messages of the meeting written in the Brdo Declaration.
During the conversation, President Pahor and President de Sousa paid considerable attention to bilateral relations. They assessed that bilateral relations between the two countries are good and friendly and that there are no outstanding issues. At the same time, there are still many opportunities for their upgrading and deepening, especially in economic terms. President de Sousa invited the Slovenian President to pay an official visit to Portugal, which the latter accepted.
They also exchanged views on other current international issues.
In the afternoon, Presidents Pahor and de Sousa visited the high-tech company Sinergise, d. o. o., which develops geographic information systems.
The first day of the visit will close with a gala dinner at Vila Bled, hosted by President Pahor in honour of President de Sousa.
The two presidents will begin the second day of the official visit with a trip to Kranj, where they will meet with students from Gimnazija France Prešeren and talk to them about the European future. This is how the two presidents take part in the Conference on the Future of Europe.
They will then unveil a “bench of friendship” between Slovenia and Portugal in front of the France Prešeren Monument. When writing the Sonnets of Misfortune, Prešeren was inspired by the great Portuguese poet Camoes, to whom he also paid homage in his Gloss.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA