The Slovenia Times

Slovenia-Kosovo Relations Excellent


Coming out of the meeting with Hoxhaj, Zbogar said that Slovenia and Kosovo had significantly strengthened ties this year. He said he had met Hoxhaj three times in the last six months and attended an international conference in Prishtina three days ago.

"Slovenia was among the first countries to recognise Kosovo and it has been maintaining this kind of attitude in the further development of political and economic relations," the Slovenian minister said.

Hoxhaj thanked Slovenia for its support in the recent years. "Slovenia has helped us set up this country," he said.

The pair said the economic cooperation between the countries was on the rise, while Kosovo would like to see trade and technical assistance boosted to help the country eventually join the EU.

To strengthen development cooperation, the ministers signed a protocol on cooperation between their ministries today.

Turning to political topics, the pair exchanged views on the situation in the region, with Zbogar expressing hope that the dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina under the auspices of the EU, which will continue today in Brussels, would succeed and that agreements reached would be implemented.

Hoxhaj promised that Prishtina would back "all solutions in the European spirit" and said that the dialogue was aimed at finding solutions to make life easier for the people.

While refusing to reveal the agenda for today's talks in Brussels, Hoxhaj replied in the negative when asked if Prishtina would ever agree on a possible division of Kosovo. "The border in the north of Kosovo is a border of the independent country and therefore the government's responsibility. It will always remain so," he pointed out.

The Serbian minority in Kosovo "enjoys the highest protection" of a minority in Europe, the minister said. Prishtina will also not accept any other solution for northern Kosovo but the Ahtisaari plan, he added.

Hoxhaj sees the future of both Kosovo and Serbia in the European integration. Kosovo's first goal in this respect is visa liberalisation, he said.

Kosovo is the only country in the region which does not have an agreement on visa liberalisation with the EU yet, so Zbogar said talks on this should be launched as soon as possible.

Kosovo deserves "a European future" and European institutions should do more to support the reforms in Kosovo, Zbogar said. Hoxhaj asserted that the Kosovo government would fulfil their part of the responsibilities earnestly and with full commitment.

The Kosovo minister was received by Prime Minister Borut Pahor earlier today, while in the afternoon he will deliver a lecture at the Faculty of Economics titled "Kosovo as a Stability Factor in the Region".


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