STA, 15 April 2019 - Foreign Minister Miro Cerar received US Republican congressman Paul A. Gosar on Monday to discuss bilateral relations between the US and Slovenia. After the meeting they both stressed the importance of strengthening the dialogue between the two countries.
It is my great pleasure to welcome @RepGosar to the @MZZRS. Slovenians in the #USA and the Americans of Slovenian heritage represent a true living bond between our two countires. #Slovenia is proud to see their achievements in Americas’s public service, business and sports. ???? pic.twitter.com/U2BM6GQMtw— dr. Miro Cerar (@MiroCerar) April 15, 2019
Cerar pointed out that quality political relations could contribute to better economic cooperation as well. He said that Slovenia has had good relations with the US, which he would endeavour to further improve in the future.
The minister also acknowledged that Gosar has recently founded the Friends of Slovenia Caucus in the House of Representatives, while another US politician of Slovenian descent, Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar established a similar caucus in the upper chamber of the US congress.
Stressing the importance of such groups, Cerar added that both friendship societies could assist Slovenia in pursuing its political interests.
Despite the estimated good bilateral relations over the past ten years, Cerar said that there was not enough direct contact on the highest political level.
"I wish to improve that as foreign minister," said Cerar, stressing that he would not do that at the expense of Slovenia's relations with other countries.
The US is one of the most significant investors in Slovenia, said the minister, who like Gosar believes that the economic cooperation between the two countries could be further improved.
Gosar, who is visiting Slovenia at the invitation of President Borut Pahor, said that bilateral discussions significantly contributed to the cooperation between the countries since they were a way to look for solutions and clinch victories together.
The congressman also stressed the role of friendship societies as important opportunities for maintaining and strengthening the dialogue.
The two politicians also addressed current political issues, including the Western Balkans situation and international agreements with Iran, Russia and China.
Gosar has been visiting Slovenia since Friday, when Pahor bestowed on him the Golden Order of Merit, one of Slovenia's highest state decorations, commending the congressman for his contribution and cooperation in strengthening relations between Slovenia and the US.
On Saturday Gosar and Pahor attended a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of a US bomber's crash during WWII at the Andraž settlement near Polzela, addressing the event as keynote speakers.
Today, Gosar also met Dejan Židan, the speaker of the National Assembly, and Alojz Kovšca, the president of the National Council.
Židan and Gosar discussed the countries' respective political systems as well as the current political situation, including the upcoming May EU elections.
According to Židan, the majority of Slovenians are in favour of the EU for many reasons, including because they feel safer as part of the bloc.
Gosar also met with the chair of the Foreign Policy Committee and Parliamentary Friendship Group with the US Matjaž Nemec.