Slovenia supports North Macedonia on its path to EU, Pahor says

Slovenia supports North Macedonia on its path to EU, Pahor says

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on an official visit to the Republic of North Macedonia.

After the reception with military honours in Skopje, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and President of the Republic of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski held a long and friendly face-to-face meeting, followed by talks between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of North Macedonia. The meeting is a continuation of the regular and friendly dialogue at the presidential level.

During the conversation, Presidents Pahor and Pendarovski confirmed the excellent and friendly relations. They assessed that the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of North Macedonia are allies and close friends. President Pendarovski thanked President Pahor for the material and financial assistance of the Republic of Slovenia in combating the coronavirus pandemic. President Pahor reiterated Slovenia’s support for North Macedonia on its path to EU membership. The two presidents paid special attention to regional co-operation and the situation in the region.

At the press conference, President Pendarovski assessed the visit of President Pahor as extremely important. He said that he sees Slovenia as a close ally both in NATO and in the efforts of North Macedonia on the road to the European Union. He thanked President Pahor for his support so far and expressed confidence that the future of the Western Balkans region lies in the integration of countries into the European Union. He emphasized the excellent cooperation between Slovenian and Macedonian police officers in the fight against illegal migration and praised cultural projects between the two countries.

President Pahor confirmed to the media that the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of North Macedonia are friends and allies. “The visit takes place at a time that both countries consider very important for North Macedonia, the region and the European Union”, President Pahor said, adding that after a long blockade by Greece, politicians from both countries managed to find a compromise that enabled the Republic of North Macedonia to move closer to the EU and join NATO.

“My visit today is not accidental. As the president of one of the EU countries, I would like to emphasize that now is the right opportunity not to delay the convening of the Intergovernmental Conference”, said the president, explaining that he understands the concerns of some countries, but that everything should be done without delay.

“Slovenia is committed to the inclusion of all countries in the Western Balkans region in the Union. But, I am here today to remind the European Union of the future of a country. It would not be credible if, now that the Republic of North Macedonia has fulfilled the requirements of the EU, reasons are sought for not keeping its promises. As a great supporter of EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and a self-confident European, I say: ‘This is an opportunity that the EU must not miss’”, the president concluded.

Pahor laid a wreath on the grave of Goce Delčev, and a meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is also planned. Pahor ends his official visit tomorrow./ibna