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President Pahor receives Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia

Ljubljana, 28. 5. 2019 | press release

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today received Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, who is currently on an official visit to Slovenia.

President Pahor and Prime Minister Zaev confirmed excellent and friendly relations between both countries with no open issues. They also highlighted intensive bilateral cooperation in political, cultural and business fields. President Pahor emphasised that Slovenia remains an active advocate and ally of North Macedonia on its route towards the EU and NATO and confirmed that it would further actively advocate the commencement of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations to the EU.

The discussion partners spoke about the enlargement of the NATO Alliance to the Western Balkans and exchanged views on the current situation in the region. President Pahor noted that by immediate ratification of the accession protocol between NATO and the Republic of North Macedonia, Slovenia sent a clear signal to other Member States that prompt response is of great importance, and he also highlighted that the enlargement of the Alliance to the Western Balkans was a significant factor in ensuring the security, stability and prosperity of the entire region and beyond.

The President also assessed that the enlargement of the European Union to the countries of the Western Balkans must be seen as a geopolitical and not a technical issue. As a co-chair of the Brdo–Brijuni Process, President Pahor presented certain conclusions of the recent summit of the heads of state in Albania. On that note, the President also added that he was looking forward to cooperating with the new president of North Macedonia within this initiative.

Prime Minister Zaev spoke about the current atmosphere in North Macedonia after the presidential elections and plans for government structure reform.

President Pahor noted that North Macedonia was also Slovenia’s important economic partner. Trade in goods is constantly growing and it reached some EUR 300 million in 2018. We are particularly pleased that Slovenia is one of the main investor countries in North Macedonia (at the end of 2017, the total value of Slovenia’s direct investment amounted to EUR 357.5 million).

President Pahor receives Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of North Macedonia
Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA