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President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans

Bled, 2. 9. 2021 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today concludes his participation in the 16th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), the main topic of which is the future of Europe and a call to increase Europe's resilience to respond more effectively to the current and future challenges.

President Pahor first received the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, to discuss the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

President Pahor also discussed this issue with the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Željko Komšić, and a member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Šefik Džaferović.

Yesterday, President Pahor held separate meetings with some of the high-level participants at the conference to discuss closer cooperation between the countries of the region with the aim of a faster and more comprehensive EU enlargement to the Western Balkans. He received the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev. Before the opening of the forum, he also received the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

In their talks, Prime Minister Kurti thanked President Pahor for Slovenia remaining a supporter and friend of Kosovo. President Pahor stressed the importance of the Belgrade–Pristina dialogue, calling for more intense regional cooperation.

President Pahor reaffirmed to Prime Minister Zaev Slovenia's support for North Macedonia on its path towards the European Union and offered assistance if needed.

In a frank and friendly conversation, President Pahor and the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić confirmed the good relations between the two countries and support for EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.

President Pahor and the Bulgarian President, Rumen Radev, discussed the possibilities for North Macedonia and Albania to receive a date for the start of negotiations as soon as possible. President Radev informed President Pahor of the current internal political situation.

Yesterday, President Pahor also delivered a keynote address at the Leaders' Panel on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, held as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe. As the co-founder and co-leader of the Brdo–Brijuni Process and host of the recent Brdo-Brijuni Process leaders’ meeting at Brdo pri Kranju, President Pahor highlighted the importance of a faster enlargement process for the security, stability and sustainable development of the countries of the region. He supported the efforts of the countries of the region to work more closely together and welcomed the Open Balkans Initiative. He said that we should do everything we can to ensure that the Western Balkans does not become a frozen opportunity for the European Union as a result of delaying enlargement.

President Pahor also had meetings with other guests of the forum, including EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, the Secretary of State of the Holy See, Pietro Parolin, the chairman and founder of the Crans Montana Forum, Jean-Paul Carteron, and the Minister of External Affairs of India, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and leaders in Bled on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA