Today at the Presidential Cabinet in “Villa Vodno”, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, welcomed the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, with a ceremony with the highest state and military honors, which marked the beginning his official two-day visit to the Republic of North Macedonia.
During the visit, in addition to the tete-a-tete meeting between President Pendarovski and President Pahor, a plenary meeting of the Macedonian and Slovenian official delegations was held, as well as a joint press conference.
The integral text of the statement of President Pendarovski is below.
Honorable President Pahor,
Distinguished members of the state delegation of the Republic of Slovenia,
Distinguished representatives of the media,
It is a special honor and pleasure for me to host today my esteemed colleague, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor.
The visit is significant in many respects. The President of Slovenia is the first statesman to visit our country during the corona virus pandemic, which proves the strategic friendship and traditional closeness between the two countries.
The state delegation of friendly Slovenia also includes the two Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers of Defense and Economy. This strengthens the bilateral dialogue and opens up opportunities for new forms of cooperation in these two key areas.
Slovenia is our ally in NATO, and the assistance in the implementation of defense reforms, as well as the cooperation between our two armies was, and is extremely important.
In the field of economy, Slovenia has been our important trade partner and investor for years. Despite the reduced trade exchange this year due to the health crisis, trade is characterized by stable growth. Our task is to increase our exports to Slovenia and to compensate for the trade deficit.
We also received Slovenian support in dealing with the spread of the corona virus. Moreover, for a long time now, Slovenian police officers have been working together with our police officers on the southern border, in dealing with the long-standing migrant and refugee crisis.
Our bilateral relations are enriched by our scientists and artists who study and teach our languages and culture and achieve intensive cultural exchange, as well as our citizens, the Slovenes in North Macedonia and the Macedonians in Slovenia, who are extending their education and career here and there respectively, forming families and thus unbreakable ties between our two societies and cultures.
We have a positive past as part of the former state, we share a common present as NATO allies, and I am confident that we will have a common future as part of the European Union. Slovenia unreservedly supported the decision of the European Council in March this year to start negotiations for our EU membership, and now supports us in our intention to hold the first intergovernmental conference by the end of this year.
We also discussed with President Pahor the regional security and cooperation, as well as the current development of political circumstances in the region. We concluded that the future of the region is in full integration into the European Union and that there is no credible alternative to that strategic orientation.
Dear colleague, dear friend Borut,
I hope and expect the successful cooperation between our two countries to continue, and the Macedonian-Slovenian friendship to become stronger.
Thank you for honoring us with your visit during the COVID-19 pandemic.