Merkel to visit Slovenia on Tuesday to receive Order of Merit

Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor will receive German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brdo pri Kranju on Tuesday to confer on her the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service, Slovenia’s top honour, Pahor’s office said on Sunday.

Merkel, who is leaving office after 16 years, will receive the decoration for her personal contribution to deepening relations between Slovenia and Germany on all levels and for her credible European leadership, reads a press release by the president’s office.

During these 16 years, Slovenia and Germany have developed excellent and friendly relations in many areas of common interest, the press release adds.

Germany is one of Slovenia’s political and economic partners. The countries are also strategic partners and allies and share similar views on major international issues.

Moreover, Germany is Slovenia’s key foreign trade partner, with bilateral trade totalling nearly EUR 11 billion last year.

Pahor cooperated with Merkel already in his role as Slovenia’s prime minister. At his invitation, Merkel paid a visit to Slovenia in 2011. During her official visit, the two countries adopted the Declaration on Enhanced Cooperation in Areas of Common Interest.

This declaration reaffirmed excellent cooperation that has developed since Slovenia became an independent and autonomous country, Pahor’s office noted.

As part of their cooperation under the current EU presidency trio, Slovenia and Germany have strived to foster constructive and friendly dialogue in the EU, thus further strengthening the excellent relations between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša is to host an EU-Western Balkans summit in Brdo pri Kranju as part of the Slovenian EU presidency. Prior to the summit, on Tuesday, EU heads of state and government will meet for an informal working dinner.