As he began his new term, President Pahor hosted a formal lunch for the presidents of neighbouring Italy and Croatia

Ljubljana, 13. 1. 2018 | press release, speech

Today, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, held a meeting and a formal lunch in Brdo pri Kranju for the presidents of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, and the president of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Predsednik Pahor je ob začetku novega mandata gostil svečano kosilo za predsednika sosednjih držav Italije in Hrvaške
Photo: STA

In his opening address, the President of the Republic of Slovenia emphasised that good neighbourly relations are the best starting point for our countries conducting successful foreign and security policies. “In conditions in which our people look to the future with worries and even fear when it comes to security, it is that much more important that, as their highest representatives, we make sincere efforts to eliminate any tensions and to strengthen the atmosphere of mutual respect, cooperation, and friendship,” emphasised the Slovenian President.

The speech by the President can be found below (spoken word applies):

“It is my pleasure and great honour that you kindly responded to my invitation to today's formal lunch. I spoke with my friend Hungarian President Áder on the telephone today, but he was unfortunately unable to attend our meeting. He asked me to greet you on his behalf and wish you all the best. Also, we regret to have received sad news from Vienna yesterday that there is a serious illness in the immediate family of our friend Van der Bellen, so we send him our thoughts and wishes.

Slovenia does not have a tradition of inviting dignitaries to an inauguration to witness the oath-taking or any other similar event marking the inauguration. This lunch was organised as a special occasion, and I must say that it meant a lot to me that all of the neighbouring presidents responded immediately with great understanding and even enthusiasm. So, here are my two very dear friends, the presidents of our eastern and western neighbours; we just had a pleasant and friendly conversation, in which we realised that there is a Mediterranean dimension to this neighbourhood.

This formal lunch is an excellent excuse for an open and honest exchange of views concerning important issues that affect our nations and countries, as well as our mutual relations. This is another excellent opportunity to strengthen good neighbourly relations and consider our joint European future.

I have always been and, always will be, loyal to the policy of good neighbourly relations. It is in our most basic interest to use dialogue to peacefully, patiently, and mutually seek solutions to problems, and then also agree to observe the solution found.

All political problems are caused by people, so people also solve all political problems. So those who believe in peace, harmony, and good neighbourly relations are obliged to set an example and prove that there are solutions to all problems, solutions that can be found in a peaceful manner and to the mutual benefit.

Good neighbourly relations are the best starting point for our countries conducting successful foreign and security policies. “In conditions in which our people look to the future with worries and even fear when it comes to security, it is that much more important that, as their highest representatives, we make sincere efforts to eliminate any tensions and to strengthen the atmosphere of mutual respect, cooperation, and friendship.”

Today’s state lunch is also an opportunity to additionally encourage our joint future in Europe, in which we see the greatest promise for a peaceful and safe future for our children and grandchildren.”