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President Pahor to visit Slovakia (background)

Ljubljana/Bratislava, 21 July (STA) - President Borut Pahor will pay an official visit to Slovakia on Wednesday upon the invitation of his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Čaputova. He will be accompanied by Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek and Education Minister Simona Kustec as well as business representatives.

His office said the visit is a continuation of dialogue between Slovenia and Slovakia and an opportunity to strengthen bilateral political and economic relations.

Apart from discussing the Covid-19 pandemic, Pahor and Čaputova will talk about the EU recovery package, the future of Europe and EU enlargement, which is supported by both countries, and regional cooperation. Pahor will also present Čaputova the efforts of the Brdo-Brijuni Process.

Slovenia and Slovakia cooperate within a number of regional initiatives, including the Three Seas and the Visegrad Group, which features Slovakia, Czechia, Poland and Hungary.

Meetings with Slovakia's Prime Minister Igor Matovič and Speaker Boris Kollar are also on Pahor's agenda.

Pahor and Čaputova will lay wreaths at the Gate of Freedom memorial at Devin Castle in Bratislava, a landmark commemorating the victims of totalitarian regimes.

Pahor's delegation will include Počivalšek, Kustec and a group of companies specialising in green technologies and innovation.

Čaputova and Pahor will also cut the ribbon on the Slovenia-Slovakia business forum, organised by the SPIRIT investment agency and its Slovakian counterpart, SARIO.

The forum will showcase green technologies and innovation, featuring some 30 Slovenian and Slovakian companies and institutions.

The business segment of the visit will focus on circular economy, smart technologies, the car industry, e-mobility and AI, with Slovenian and Slovak companies exchanging views on breakthrough solutions.

Economy Minister Počivalšek is scheduled to meet his counterpart Richard Sulik and the state secretary in charge of transport, construction and tourism. A meeting with Slovenian-Slovak Business Club representatives is also on his agenda.

Slovenia's trade deficit with Slovakia in 2019 reached EUR 71.7 million, data from Slovenia's Statistics Office show.

Slovakia's imports totalled EUR 608.8 million, whereas Slovenia's exports were estimated at EUR 537.1 million.

Pahor will be the first president to be hosted by Čaputova for an official visit since she became president in June last year, according to Pahor's office.

The last high-profile visit from Bratislava in Slovenia was by President Andrej Kiska in April 2018.

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