Pahor honours Merkel with Slovenia’s top decoration

Brdo pri Kranju – President Borut Pahor on Tuesday presented German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service, Slovenia’s highest honour, for her personal contribution to deepening the relationship between the two countries and for her credible and trust-inspiring European leadership.

“Angela Merkel is capable of what is the most difficult in politics. She inspires trust in people and the belief that all will end well. This does not come with talent, but with work, its successes and one’s own example,” Pahor said as he handed out the decoration.

According to him, Chancellor Merkel has always arrived at solutions by looking for compromises, and reached solutions through dialogue, even with the toughest or most unpleasant of interlocutors.

What is more, Merkel is the creator of far-reaching solutions as a pragmatic politician of responsible visions, and a person who has steadfast belief in a common European future, Pahor added.

Merkel thanked Pahor for the decoration and said she was honoured by it, noting that it was a commitment for her and for all future German governments to continue to work for the close, good and friendly relations between the countries and their people.

She also thanked Pahor personally for mutual cooperation, which has been very good in various capacities.

The outgoing German chancellor accepted the honour at Brdo estate, where she will later take part in an informal dinner of EU leaders ahead of the EU-Western Balkans summit on Wednesday.

During the 16 years of her chancellorship, Slovenia and Germany have developed excellent and friendly relations in many areas of shared interest, the president’s office noted prior to the ceremony.

Germany and Slovenia are strategic, political and economic partners and allies and share similar views on major international issues. Germany is also Slovenia’s biggest trading partner with bilateral trade of nearly EUR 11 billion last year.

The countries adopted the Declaration on Enhanced Cooperation in Areas of Common Interest as Merkel visited Slovenia on an official trip in 2011 at the invitation of Pahor, Slovenia’s prime minister at the time.

As part of the trio presidency of the Council of the EU during Slovenia’s first and current stint at the EU’s helm, the two countries have worked toward constructive and amicable dialogue within the bloc, thus deepening their ties further, Pahor’s office noted.