President Pahor on a state visit to the Republic of Kosovo: “Problems must be resolved amicable and then the resolutions must be mutually observed.”
Priština, Kosovo, 12. 2. 2018 | press release
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on a state visit to the Republic of Kosovo at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, observing the 10th
anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, was first received by his host, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hasim Thaçi. After an official reception with military honours, the Presidents had a private meeting, which was followed by plenary talks between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Kosovo led by both presidents.
President Thaçi first stated that this state visit marked the beginning of the celebrations of the anniversary of Kosovo's independence, which he was very pleased about, and he thanked Slovenia and its president for this honour. Cooperation between Slovenia and Kosovo has been marked by traditionally good relations, without open issues, stated President Pahor. Since diplomatic relations were established in 2008, the countries have enhanced their cooperation in various areas. Slovenia has also been active in Kosovo within the efforts of the international community to ensure stability (KFOR, EULEX).
An important topic of the conversation with the host was Kosovo's progress regarding the European Union. President Pahor assured his counterpart that Slovenia would continue to support Kosovo's efforts to join the EU, and that it remains a firm advocate of Kosovo's European perspective. He called for Kosovo to continue its reforms with rapprochement with the EU approximation in sight, while observing its obligations under international law.
Finally, the presidents discussed current issues and challenges in the neighbouring Western Balkan region. They agreed that, regardless of the differences between the countries in the region, it is ultimately in all our interests that agreements and international law be observed.
In a press release, the President stated that both he and President Thaçi believe that, with regard to conditions in the region, the time has come for the leaders of the region and two Member States of the European Union, Slovenia and Croatia, to maintain sufficiently trustworthy and friendly relations, so that “regardless of the many differences between us”, they may improve the atmosphere of mutual trust and resolve bilateral and multilateral issues in the years to come. “If this assessment is accurate, then it is cause for optimism, of which there is much less in the European Union regarding this issue,” added the President of Slovenia. Furthermore, the President clarified that, generally, he and President Thaçi have slightly different views of the recently published strategy of the European Commission on enlargement. The Slovenian president believes that the strategy is generally good, but the President of Kosovo believes that it is generally poor; however, both presidents are convinced that it includes so many significant uncertainties and insufficiently defined elements that it requires thorough corrections and improvements, for which “we would also advocate together at the upcoming Brdo Brijuni summit in Skopje at the end of April.”
They agreed that economic cooperation has an important place in bilateral cooperation. Slovenia has a place as an essential economic partner of Kosovo; it is one of the most important inventors in Kosovo, but the volume of trade in goods compared to the opportunities is still relatively insignificant. As early as next month, an economic delegation from Slovenia led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karl Erjavec, will visit Kosovo.
Yesterday, in late afternoon, during the state visit, President Pahor also met representatives of the Slovenian contingent serving with K-FOR forces in Kosovo.
He concluded the first day of his visit with a formal dinner that was held by the President of the Republic of Kosovo in honour of the visit of the President of the Republic of Slovenia.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, will continue his state visit today, on Tuesday, 13 February, when he will meet the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, which will be followed by a speech by President Pahor at the formal sitting of the Kosovo Parliament observing the 10th
anniversary of the declaration of independence of the Republic of Kosovo. As the programme continues, the President will also meet representatives of the Self-Determination and Serb List political parties. President Pahor will conclude his state visit by meeting the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo.
Photo: Daniel Novaković
Photo: Daniel Novaković