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First Official Visit of Slovenian President in Serbia Represents Historic Milestone in Relations between Two Countries

Belgrade, Serbia, 29. 5. 2014 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor has today begun an official visit to the Republic of Serbia where he will be hosted by the President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić. This is the first official visit of the Slovenian President to the Republic of Serbia which has great symbolic significance for the consolidation of political and economic relations between the two countries and peoples.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor has today begun an official visit to the Republic of Serbia where he will be hosted by the President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

As part of the official visit the President of the Republic of Slovenia will speak to the members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. President Pahor will attend a working lunch hosted by Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić. The program of the official visit is adapted to the conditions following the disastrous floods that hit Serbia. President Pahor will therefore also visit the severely flooded area of Obrenovac. A strong economic delegation is also accompanied by the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Slovenia Roman Jakič and the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Slovenia dr. Uroš Čufer.

After the official reception with military honours, the presidents of Serbia and Slovenia held a face-to-face conversation, followed by plenary talks between the delegation of the Republic of Slovenia and the delegation of the Republic of Serbia led by the two presidents.

At the beginning, the Serbian President Nikolić stressed his satisfaction with the first visit of the Slovenian President to the Republic of Serbia, thanked him for the outstanding assistance that Slovenia provided to Serbia during the recent floods and added that this further strengthens the sincere friendship between the two countries. President Pahor reiterated his sympathy and condolences because of the loss of lives and enormous damage caused by the floods and expressed Slovenia's support for flood relief. He stressed the importance of solidarity between the two countries which has this year been expressed through mutual assistance during ice storms in Slovenia and the devastating floods in Serbia. The President of Slovenia also said to the President of Serbia that Slovenia is ready to provide expert assistance in damage assessment and EU funding provision. He informed him that at the recent European Council, Slovenia successfully started an initiative for the organization of a donors' conference for flood relief in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.

The presidents also agreed that the Slovenian President's first official visit to the Republic of Serbia represents a historical landmark in relations between the two countries. The ties between the two nations are friendly and the cooperation between them on the political level has intensified in recent years.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor has today begun an official visit to the Republic of Serbia where he will be hosted by the president of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

President Pahor ensured that Slovenia remains an ally of Serbia on it's way towards the European Union and called for strict adherence to international agreements in future efforts to resolve the outstanding issues related to Yugoslavia succession. The presidents of Serbia and Slovenia also discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries and their cooperation within the framework of regional initiatives and regional and international organizations. They agreed that the Brdo Process regional initiative has stimulated shifts in resolving several outstanding regional issues. The two presidents also discussed other current international issues and highlighted the development of good neighbourly relations and constructive regional cooperation for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo. President Pahor paid tribute to Serbia's courage in managing relations with Priština. At the end, the two presidents also exchanged views on the current situation in the European Union after the recent European elections.

They have committed to strengthening political and economic relations between the two countries by signing a political declaration to mark the Slovenian President's first official visit of Serbia.

In a press statement, the presidents of Serbia and Slovenia stressed that relations between the two countries are excellent and that they believe this visit will add new impetus to the comprehensive deepening of relations in all areas. President Pahor said that the official visit is not a milestone only because it is the first, but also because it is the last first official visit to the countries of the Western Balkans. He stressed he was extremely honoured to be able to address the deputies of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia.

Following the visit, he met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and the Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojković. Late in the afternoon, the Slovenian President will met with representatives of the Slovenian minority in Serbia. In the evening, he will attend a dinner in his honour hosted by the President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić.

On the second day of the visit, President Pahor will meet with the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia Željko Sertić and will attend the Serbian-Slovenian business forum where he will address the Serbian and Slovenian businessmen. During the visit, President Pahor will hold a lecture for students at the University of Belgrade about "The Future of Europe and its Further Enlargement" and will join President Nikolić to take a look at Obrenovac, the town that was the worst affected by the floods. The President of the Republic of Slovenia will conclude his visit by meeting with the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Ivica Dačić.