President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor starts official visit to the United Kingdom by meeting Prince Edward

London, 27. 2. 2019 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Borut Pahor, is paying an official visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as the guest of Queen Elizabeth II and the British Government.

At the special invitation of the Royal Family, Mr Pahor first met today Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Edward shared his memories of his visit to Slovenia in 2013, during which he and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visited Ljubljana for the first time and met President Pahor and Ms Tanja Pečar. Prince Edward and President Pahor discussed the awards for young people participating in the MEPI youth programme, which are annually conferred in Slovenia as well. This programme enables young people between the ages of 14 and 25 to discover, develop and fulfil their potentials through active participation in a variety of activities. The programme’s special honorary patron is Prince Edward. At today's meeting, Mr Pahor invited Prince Edward to visit Slovenia again, and Prince Edward accepted the invitation with pleasure, assuring that he will soon avail himself of this opportunity.

During his official visit to the United Kingdom, President Pahor met with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and later in the afternoon, he gave a lecture titled The Geopolitical Positioning of Europe at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

British Foreign Secretary Hunt started the conversation by immediately offering an explanation for his statement in Ljubljana, which Mr Pahor accepted as an apology.

Mr Pahor and Mr Hunt praised the relations between Slovenia and the UK as very good. Foreign Secretary Hunt emphasised that President Pahor's visit would give a new impetus to the relations between Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Mr Pahor said that Slovenia has genuine interest in strengthening bilateral relations after Brexit.

The pair assessed that the two countries would be closely bound by many joint values and tradition also after the UK leaves the EU. The United Kingdom will remain Slovenia's important business partner and an alley within NATO. The two countries share awareness of the importance of multilateralism, security and stability, and progress in the world in general, especially in Europe.

Slovenia and the UK are increasing their cooperation in business, tourism, investment, science, education and culture. Trade between the countries has been rising and exceeded EUR 1bn for the first time last year.

Foreign Secretary Hunt presented to President Pahor the parliamentary procedure for the passage of the Brexit agreement and the UK's possible scenarios for the future. Mr Pahor stressed the importance of finding appropriate solutions both for the EU and the UK and responsibility in efforts for the passage of the Brexit agreement as the best possible compromise that would facilitate an orderly Brexit and mitigate the potential negative consequences for the people and the economies involved to the greatest possible extent.

President Pahor will meet Queen Elizabeth II tomorrow, on Thursday, 28 February 2019.

Within the official programme of the visit, Mr Pahor will meet Lord Speaker of the House of Lords Lord Norman Fowler, Lord Mayor of the City of London Peter Estlin, and expectedly also Prime Minister Theresa May. On the last day of his visit, President Pahor will visit the London Stock Exchange and some leading financial institutions. On the occasion of President Pahor’s visit to London, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to the UK and Northern Ireland, Mr Tadej Rupel, will host a reception for Slovenians living in the UK tomorrow evening.

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor starts official visit to the United Kingdom by meeting Prince Edward
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor starts official visit to the United Kingdom by meeting Prince Edward
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA