Austrian, Slovenian presidents talk bilateral, European issues

Slovenian President Borut Pahor met with the newly-elected Austrian President, Alexander Van der Bellen, in Vienna on Tuesday, and both heads of state expressed their expectation that the two countries would continue to develop good relations.

Our relations are traditionally excellent, the Austrian president said after the meeting, underscoring the two countries' excellent economic cooperation and Austria's significant investments in Slovenia.

Pahor said the talks also focused on the EU's relations with Russia and Turkey, Austria's and Slovenia's positions regarding the Near East and Northern Africa from where refugees are arriving in Europe, and the situation in the Western Balkans.

The issue of possible illegal migrations still exists and has not yet been resolved, Pahor said, adding that his talks with Van der Bellen showed that he and the Austrian president had similar opinions about most of the issues discussed today.

Pahor also said he presented his Austrian counterpart with the so-called Ljubljana Initiative.

The document was signed by a number of Slovenian intellectuals wishing to encourage a European-level debate on a new EU constitution, Pahor said.

Speaking of Slovenia's relations with Austria and the neighbouring countries, Pahor said his visit to Vienna was motivated by a desire to continue the good-neighbourly cooperation and friendship.

The European and global policies start with policies towards neighbours and at this moment Slovenia has more or less good relations with all its neighbours, however, those relations need to be further advanced and nurtured, Pahor said, adding that this was the reason why trust needed to be built and nurtured with neighbouring countries even when outstanding issues had not been resolved.

Slovenian media reported that Pahor invited Van der Bellen to hold a trilateral meeting at the presidential level between Croatia, Slovenia in Austria already in May.

Last update: Tue, 10/01/2017 - 16:20

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