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Georgian President’s historic visit to Slovenia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 20
For the first time in the history of independent Georgia, the President paid his first official visit to Slovenia on July 18-19.

Georgia’s President, Giorgi Margvelashvili, and First Lady Maka Chichua were welcomed at the Presidential Palace in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Margvelashvili had a face-to-face meeting with his Slovenian counterpart, Borut Pahor.

According to the Presidential Administration of Georgia, the parties discussed the issues of strengthening economic and trade relationships between the countries. They also discussed Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, the Parliamentary Elections in October and recent developments in Turkey.

Georgia’s President provided Slovenia’s President with information on the situation in Georgia’s breakaway regions as well as on the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections and pre-election environment.

Margvelashvili expressed hope that Slovenian observers would actively monitor the 2016 October elections.

After the meeting, a joint press-conference was held. Georgia’s President thanked Borut Pahor for supporting Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and stated Georgia welcomes Slovenia's decision to take part in the implementation of NATO substantial package. He also spoke about Georgia’s visa-liberalization issue and expressed hope the process would be completed before the Parliamentary elections in Georgia.

“I'm sure that it will be easier for the financial crisis, migration and security problems, if Europe becomes larger and more countries join the European family,” stated Margvelashvili.

In his speech, he talked about the Russia-Georgia relations and noted that Georgia will never put up with the Russian occupation. However, he noted that “as soon as the issue of occupation of Georgia is resolved, Georgia will be ready to be in good neighborly relations with Russia.”

Georgian President invited Borut Pahor to Georgia, who on his own assured to visit Georgia in the near future.

Margvelashvili and Borut Pahor together with the first ladies opened the Chair of friendship at the Tbilisi street in Ljubljana as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

After the meeting of the two presidents, a bilateral memorandum was signed, which will simplify procedures for obtaining work visas and this will contribute to strengthening economic relations.

The Chambers of Commerce of the two countries also signed a Memorandum of Cooperation and within this deal, a Slovenian business delegation will come to Tbilisi in September to participate in the Georgia-Slovenia business forum.

On the second day of his visit, President Margvelashvili met with Prime Minister of Slovenia, Miro Cerar. The parties expressed readiness to co-operate in business, agricultural and economic fields.

Moreover, Georgia’s President had a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia Milan Brglez, the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Jankovic and the Mayor of Piran Peter Bossman. Working dinner took place with the Minister of Infrastructure of Slovenia, Peter Gaspersic.