By Liljana Meshaj –Sarajevo
President of Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor was on a two day official visit to B&H from June 3-5, 2014. The Slovenian President was welcomed in Sarajevo with the highest state honours by the Chairman of B&H Presidency and members of B&H Presidency Bakir Izetbegović, Željko Komšić and Nebojša Radmanović along with the honorary unit of B&H Armed Forces.
The welcome ceremony was followed by a meeting of the delegations of Slovenia and B&H. After the meeting between the B&H Presidency members and President Pahor, it was assessed that relations with B&H are good but there is room for improvement.
“Our cooperation is very good, our people are very connected and have faith in one another, but still the relations between Sarajevo and Ljubljana are not at the highest potential level. They can be much better”, stated Pahor.
The Chairman of B&H Presidency Bakir Izetbegović thanked the Republic of Slovenia and its citizens for the assistance that they gave to our country during the recent floods. “Slovenia responded in the very first hours, by sending assistance to B&H, helicopters, boats, food and other forms of aid to the vulnerable population of the flooded areas in B&H”, said Izetbegović.
The overall relation of the two countries with the special emphasis at the Euro-Atlantic integrations of B&H was discussed at the meeting. “Slovenia provides a strong support to B&H toward EU and NATO. Relations between B&H and Slovenia are very good. We have asked President Pahor to support B&H. We have good lobbyists among Slovenian representatives in the European Parliament, but we have asked for the additional support so that EU opens its doors for B&H and to start the negotiation process in order for B&H to not stand anymore at the EU door. We are grateful to Pahor for his initiative to start the “Brdo –process”, which will have its third session in July in Dubrovnik”, stated Izetbegović.
The Slovenian President announced that his country will continue to support B&H in confronting the consequences of the floods and that Slovenia will continue to advocate for the quick accession of B&H and the entire Western Balkans to EU and Euro–Atlantic integrations. Slovenia will support B&H in a bilateral level both as a member of EU. “That is going to be our position at the donor conference on B&H reconstruction”, said Pahor. He added that the Slovenian interest is to strengthen the overall relations with B&H and at the same time to work on consolidating stability in the region.
The prize “Isa –beg Ishakovic” was awarded to the Slovenian President at the National Theatre of B&H in Sarajevo.
During the second day of the official visit, Pahor met with Heads of both Houses of B&H Parliamentary Assembly, with the Chairman of B&H Council of Ministers, Vjekoslav Bevanda. A visit to the Operative –Communication Centre of B&H Ministry of Security took place during the second day of the visit from which were coordinated evacuations and rescuing actions of populations during the catastrophic floods that hit B&H, along with Slovenian pilots and helicopters took place in the actions as well.
A tour in Vijećnica was part of the second day of the visit, as well as a tour to the Old City – Baščaršija. Finaly, Pahor meet with representatives of EUFOR from the Slovenian contingent.