President Pahor Ends State Visit to Norway

By , 08 Nov 2019, 11:30 AM Politics
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STA, 7 November - President Borut Pahor completed his state visit to Norway on Thursday after he was received by King Harald V and met top Norwegian officials on Wednesday, including Prime Minister Erna Solberg, with whom he highlighted the excellent bilateral relations and shared views on a number of global challenges.

The pair confirmed that Slovenia and Norway advocated efficient multilateralism, the rule of law and human rights, the Slovenian president's office said in a release.

They also agreed there was still a lot of potential to deepen economic cooperation, foremost in circular economy, environmental technology, AI, robotics, ICT and tourism.

Security and the EU's future also featured strongly, with the pair noting the EU should be strengthened to provide for security and thus protect European values and national identities.

The two officials also discussed the situation in the Western Balkans, calling for countries from the region to join the EU and, if they wish so, also NATO.

After meeting Solberg, Pahor pointed to the importance of his state visit, noting the Norwegian royal couple hosted only two such high-level visits a year.

Slovenia has earned it with its efforts for peace and prosperity at home, in the region and the EU, and with its efforts for reconciliation and peaceful resolution of all issues, Pahor said.

Norway has a good reputation in Slovenia because of its foreign policy of "peaceful resolution of all disputes", said Pahor, adding Slovenia and Norway shared "many values and views on global issues".

He believes his meetings with the Norwegian officials - he also met Speaker Tone Wilhelmsen Troen - will deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields.

In his toast at the gala dinner last evening, King Harald V hailed the role of the alliance among like-minded countries.

He stressed that Norway and Slovenia should "use our joint strength to tackle global challenges - security, climate change, human rights and the rule of law".

Pahor in turn highlighted the role of bees. "The Carniolan honeybee was - more than hundred years ago - one of the first export articles from our lands to Norway. Nowadays, we are both aware of the importance of bees and pollinators for our ecosystem and food chain."

The main event on Pahor's agenda today was a business conference at research organisation SINTEF, where Slovenia's Jožef Stefan Institute and SINTEF signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation.

The three-year memorandum covers the fields of AI, circular economy, sustainable mobility and innovative materials, Slovenia's top research institution said in a press release.

Pahor and the royal couple also attended the opening of an exhibition on Slovenian Alpine architecture, and a seminar on beekeeping and pollination, where Pahor presented the king with a beehive decorated in traditional Slovenian style.

In the evening, Pahor is hosting a Slovenian Evening, a promotional event, which will also be attended by the royal couple.

Pahor was accompanied in Norway by Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Education, Science and Sport Minister Jernej Pikalo, Agriculture, Forestry and Food Minister Aleksandra Pivec and business and science executives.

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