STA, 25 February 2019 - Slovenian President Borut Pahor will be received by Queen Elizabeth II as he makes an official visit to Britain from Wednesday to Friday designed to enhance the friendly relationship between the two countries ahead of Brexit.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his trip, Pahor said one of the main reasons for the visit was that Slovenia would like to continue to foster the excellent relationship with the UK after the country leaves the EU on 29 March.
The UK remains an important partner and a close ally of Slovenia as well as a reliable advocate of the rule of law and multilateralism in the world, the president's office said, expressing the hope that the visit would give fresh impetus to bilateral relations.
Pahor will start the visit on Wednesday with a meeting with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who visited Slovenia last week. After talks with his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar, Hunt said the two countries were trying to protect the status and the rights of both countries citizens in case of a hard Brexit.
Pahor is scheduled to meet Slovenians living in the UK on Thursday. Data from the Slovenian Foreign Ministry size the Slovenian community in Britain at around 5,000.
The Slovenian president will discuss the challenges that the European continent is facing as well as his vision for the global positioning and future of Europe in a lecture at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, on Wednesday.
On Thursday, he will be received by Queen Elizabeth II, the world's longest serving monarch, who has been on the throne since 1952 and who, as Pahor told reporters during his recent visit to Brussels, co-shaped the post-war period.
Pahor understands his meeting the British monarch as an expression of respect for Slovenia. Queen Elizabeth II visited Slovenia on a state visit in 2008.
Pahor will also meet several members of both chambers of the UK Parliament, the House of Commons and House of Lords, on Thursday, including House of Commons Speaker John Bercow.
It is possible that he will also meet Prime Minister Theresa May, expectedly on Friday, provided the developments related to Brexit will allow such a meeting.
On Friday, the final day of his visit, Pahor will visit the City to ring the bell of the London Stock Exchange and meet key financiers. He expects them to assess how Brexit will affect City's role as a major global financial centre.
Apart from Brexit, other topics of the visit will include the future of Europe, the prospects of membership of the EU and NATO for West Balkan countries and global challenges, in particular migration, new security threats and climate change.
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