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Turkiye, Slovenia eye boosting cooperation

11 August 2022 17:38 (UTC+04:00)
Turkiye, Slovenia eye boosting cooperation

By News Center

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor have discussed prospects of cooperation between the two countries in Ankara, Yeni Shafak newspaper reports.

"I believe that our solidarity, which has developed on the basis of friendship, alliance, and strategic partnership, will become stronger in all areas, including Turkiye's EU accession process," Erdogan stressed during a joint press conference with the Slovenian president.

Erdogan said that he discussed the level of Turkish-Slovenian relations, which marks its 30th anniversary in 2022.

“We expressed our satisfaction about the ties in almost every field, especially in economy, trade, industry, science, technology, and transportation. The strategic partnership agreement, we signed 11 years ago, had a positive impact. We aim to increase the figure that still does not fully reflect our true potential. As two NATO allies, I believe that there are many common steps we will take, especially in the defense industry. We are proud that Turkish contracting companies are involved in the construction of the Karawanks Tunnel and the railway in Slovenia,” Erdogan stressed.

He added that the sides exchanged views on regional and global issues, especially the developments in Ukraine and the Balkans.

“Friendly relations and cooperation make great contributions to regional peace and stability. I believe that our solidarity, which has developed on the basis of friendship, alliance, and strategic partnership, will become stronger in every field, including Turkiye's EU accession process,” the Turkish president emphasized.

Slovenian President Pahor, who took the floor afterward, thanked Erdogan for the warm welcome and hospitality, adding that it was his 18th meeting with the Turkish president.

“We signed the strategic partnership agreement in 2011. We were aiming to increase trade to $1 billion. This figure has almost doubled now, exceeding our targets. Today, in the presence of the economy minister, I can say on behalf of the Slovenian government that we will continue to work on the business commission conference,” Pahor said.

He emphasized that Slovenia will enhance its economic and political cooperation with Turkiye, noting that Turkish firms' contracts had always been completed on time, in a timely manner, and within the framework of previously negotiated prices.

“In our bilateral ties with Honourable President Erdogan, there has been no issue that we have been unable to overcome. Of course, we have had disagreements, but we believe that we can overcome them via dialogue. We had fantastic connections with Turkiye. The majority of Slovenians are really pleased with our partnership with Turkiye,” the Slovenian leader said.

Referring to their talks on the Ukraine war and the issues in the Western Balkans, Pahor said that Slovenia highly appreciates Turkiye’s mediation role in resolving the conflicts.

“As far as the Western Balkans is concerned, we have decided to meet again for the 19th time. At the end of September, we decided to come together at the sessions of the UN General Assembly. There will be visits to Balkan countries such as Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Croatia. We can see opportunities and challenges. We can also see opportunities that could be missed because of the Ukraine war. If this war lasts longer than expected, the tension here may descend to the south, to the Balkans. I would like to say to all the countries and leaders in the region that this region deserves peace, security, and prosperity,” he stressed.

The Slovenian president also praised Turkiye for overcoming disagreements over Finland and Sweden's NATO membership and demonstrating NATO's usefulness during the Ukraine conflict.

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