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President Drnovšek's statement after discussions with Romanian President Iliescu
Brdo by Kranj, 07/06/2004 | statement
The President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, received Romanian President Ion Iliescu today, arriving on a two-day visit to Slovenia upon the invitation of Dr Drnovšek. They both emphasised that an intense political dialogue has been established between the two countries, and assessed the bilateral relations as friendly and forming a good basis for future co-operation. They established that there was still a lot of potential for the development of co-operation in the economic field. President Iliescu congratulated Dr Drnovšek on the level of economic development achieved in Slovenia, and on attaining membership to the European Union and NATO. He went on to emphasise Romania’s efforts to join the European Union, expressing the hope that negotiations would be concluded by the end of this year. Romania is counting upon Slovenia’s further support in this process. In light of Slovenia’s preparations to take over the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, President Drnovšek and President Iliescu also devoted their attention to an exchange of view-points on the problems in the region which Romania had to face during its term of presidency of the OSCE. An agreement between the governments of the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Romania on co-operation between the two countries in the field of health-care and medicine was signed at the end of the meeting.
Following the talks, President Dr Drnovšek gave the following statement:
"I am very pleased to have met with the President of Romania, Mr Iliescu, and his delegation on his visit today. This visit is a reconfirmation of the excellent relations between Romania and Slovenia. I still recall Mr. President’s visit to Slovenia ten years ago. At that time we already established that our respective countries have a good number of common interests and goals; we were striving towards membership of the European Union and NATO, and were undergoing similar reforms. Today we can say that the majority of our goals have been achieved, and that we have been constantly nurturing and developing our bilateral relations.
The economic relations we are still developing are also important, which is why it is very useful that Mr. President is accompanied by a Romanian economic delegation, and that he will meet some of our own businessmen. In the future, we expect the economic exchange and mutual investments to increase in volume, especially those such as the recent investment of the company Lek in Romania. We also expect that the forthcoming membership of Romania to the European Union will further strengthen our co-operation and relations in this field.
Today we also extensively discussed foreign policy, in particular the presidency of the OSCE. Slovenia has been intensively preparing to take over the OSCE presidency next year. Romania has already been through this process and has a lot of experience in the region where the majority of the problems dealt with by the OSCE are present. Today’s meeting is, therefore, a good opportunity for the exchange of such experience and points of view. I wish the President of Romania and the whole delegation a very pleasant stay in Slovenia.”
When questioned by a Romanian journalist about the role of Slovenia in Romania’s accession process to the European Union, President Drnovšek said:
"All these years Slovenia has been co-operating with Romania, including in the process of its accession. Our negotiators have taken part in this process, and our political contacts have always included this topic. If anybody, it is Slovenia, having itself undergone the process of transition and candidature for membership to the EU, that can understand another country undertaking the same path, with the same goals and ambitions. Slovenia, therefore, strongly supports Romania in its endeavours to conclude its negotiations as soon as possible and become an EU member-state together with Bulgaria in 2007, as scheduled."