Slovenian President in Zagreb: Slovenia and Croatia are not just neighbours but also friends
Zagreb, Croatia, 9. 5. 2013 | press release
At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Ivo Josipović, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is paying an official visit to Croatia today and tomorrow. The Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia first met on 2 March 2013 on the margins of the Festive Plenary Session of the European Academy of Science and Arts in Salzburg, but the visit to Zagreb is their first official meeting. On his official visit to Croatia, the Slovenian President is accompanied by Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
After being received with military honours in front of the Office of the Croatian President, President Pahor first had a tête-ŕ-tête with President Josipović, followed by talks between the two delegations. Both presidents assessed that the relations between the two countries are good and intensive at all levels and in all areas and that they will become even more so with Croatia’s accession to the European Union, as they share many common interests, in particular development and economic, and a joint concern for the stability of the region and strengthening the prospects of the Western Balkan countries’ accession to Euro-Atlantic structures. The presidents agreed that continuing the dialogue to resolve the open issues is of key importance. President Pahor and President Josipović expressed their support to the efforts aimed at reopening negotiations under the Agreement on Succession Issues and undertook to enhance the quality of interstate dialogue, cooperation and progress in resolving issues of common interest. Following their talks, they signed a joint declaration on enhanced cooperation between the two nations and the two countries, by which they committed to the strengthening of friendly relations in all areas of social and political life between the states of Slovenia and Croatia and their peoples.
Due to the strong links between the two economies, Croatia’s accession to the European Union will open several new opportunities and challenges for Slovenian companies. President Pahor’s visit is also an opportunity to exchange views on further development and enhancement of economic cooperation, including stimulating investment. President Pahor and President Josipović both believe that the two countries dealt with the open issues well and found the way to resolving them, and that not only neighbourliness, but also friendship and multilateral cooperation between the two countries is important within this context.
President Josipović also highlighted cooperation in the areas of tourism and culture, since Slovenia and Croatia are already major partners in scientific and technological fields. The presidents agreed that there are still many opportunities for their countries to increase and expand their cooperation.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
At the close of the talks, President Pahor invited President Josipović to attend the Bled Strategic Forum, and President Josipović, in turn, invited President Pahor to participate in the 8th
“Croatia Summit” international conference to be held in Dubrovnik.
In his press release, the Slovenian President emphasised that the two countries “searched for willingness and knowledge to initiate the settlement of difficult bilateral issues for two decades, and finally mobilised their statesmanship and started to work on these issues amicably, finding solutions and turning an ordinary friendship into a sincere one in the process.” “Certain major steps have been made in recent years, which need to be looked at with great optimism, and with the confidence that our common European future brings opportunities that two neighbouring nations must not overlook," added President Pahor.
With regard to resolving the dispute on Ljubljanska banka, Mr Pahor said that he and President Josipović agreed in principle to encourage both governments to reach solutions within the context of the Mokrice Memorandum as soon as possible.
President Pahor also attended a working lunch held in his honour by the President of the Parliament of Croatia, Josip Leko.
In the afternoon, President Pahor visited the Croatian National Archives and original collection of Janez Vajkard Valvasor at the Metropolitana Library in Zagreb, which is one of the most important book collections in the history of Slovenia and an invaluable and unique artistic monument of global significance. On behalf of Slovenia and on the proposal of the Janez Vajkard Valvasor Foundation, established at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, President Pahor will donate two facsimile copies of this graphics collection to Croatia. This gift is an important gesture towards enhancing further friendly relations between the two countries. The Slovenian President donated one of the facsimile copies to the Croatian President and the second to the Metropolitana Library in Zagreb.
In the afternoon, the two presidents will take a walk through the centre of Zagreb and visit the Days of Slovenian Tourism, currently being held in Josip Jelačić Square. In the late afternoon, they will also participate in the Europe Day reception organised by the Delegation of the European Union in Zagreb at the National and University Library. President Josipović will also hold a gala dinner in honour of President Pahor.
Tomorrow, President Pahor will meet with the Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović at the headquarters of the Croatian Government; the two Presidents, Mr Pahor and Mr Josipović, will also address the participants of the Croatian– Slovenian economic forum and attend the signing of the letter of intent regarding the establishment of a centre for effective energy solutions. On the margins of the visit of the Slovenian President, a business conference, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, the SPIRIT Agency, the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Zagreb, will take place.
President Pahor and President Josipović will deliver a lecture “Together to Europe” to students of law and international relations at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb.
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA