Slovenian President receives Macedonian President, Branko Crvenkovski
Ljubljana, 18.3.2008 | press release
This morning the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr Danilo Türk, received the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Branko Crvenkovski, who is on a working visit to Slovenia. The Presidents shared the opinion that relations between their two countries were excellent, as also evidenced by the increase in trade between the two countries. The Macedonian President, among other points, underlined that lately Slovenian companies had shown greater interest in investing in various sectors of industry in Macedonia. He congratulated the Slovenian President on the country’s successful Presidency of the Council of the European Union and presented Macedonia’s goals in terms of becoming a member of the different Euro-Atlantic structures. The two Presidents also touched on the issue of liberalisation of the visa regime, which would facilitate communication between the people of both countries and, in particular, remove obstacles in the way of student exchanges. President Crvenkovski stressed that he was well aware that Macedonia itself bore the main responsibility for progress in its accession to the European Union, adding, however, that support from European allies and friendly countries within the European Union was also necessary.
The Slovenian and Macedonian Heads of State also discussed the situation in Kosovo. They regarded the current tensions in Kosovo as a cause of concern and expressed their wish that all the problems of Kosovo should be solved in a reasonable and amicable way, since violence would benefit no one. The Slovenian President, Danilo Türk, emphasised that the United Nations peace mission UNMIK should be guaranteed full respect in order to preserve the relevance of Security Council Resolution 1244.“We cannot credibly refer to Resolution No 1244 without respecting UNMIK,” he stressed.
The two Presidents also talked about the Macedonian-Greek conflict over the name of the Macedonian state. “As you know, Slovenia is developing relations with the Republic of Macedonia in which its constitutional name is fully respected,” emphasised the President of the Republic of Slovenia, and pointed out that the dispute was a bilateral issue concerning Macedonia and Greece. “We further understand that the Macedonian side is predisposed to compromise. However, to be successful, a compromise needs to be a reasonable compromise,” continued President Türk, calling for efforts to seek out a reasonable compromise that might provide a solution. At the same time he remarked that issues such as the date when EU membership negotiations could start did not depend on bilateral issues. According to Dr Türk, Slovenia was committed to making maximum progress on Macedonia’s accession to the European Union during its Presidency and immediately after it. “We are dedicating our best efforts to this,” added the Slovenian President.