Pahor meets Erdogan on sidelines of UN General Assembly

New York, 22 September – President Borut Pahor, who is in New York for the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, held several bilateral meetings on Tuesday, including with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss cooperation, Afghanistan and migrations. He also attended an event marking 30 years of Slovenia’s independence.

Pahor and Erdogan assessed the Slovenia-Turkey relations as very good, especially since 2011 when the countries signed a strategic partnership, with cooperation especially good in economy. Pahor said he expected the joint economic commission to meet soon.

Erdogan stressed the role of cooperation within NATO, adding he wished that Slovenia remove Turkey from the list of unsafe countries to which Slovenia does not return migrants or extradite suspects.

The situation in Afghanistan and dealing with migration from the country was also discussed.

Turkey would like to move almost 350,000 Afghan refugees residing in its territory from tents to built settlements, which Erdogan said was becoming difficult as the EU did not provide additional funds for this purpose.

Looking back at the several meetings they had at the time when both were prime ministers and the strategic partnership was signed, the presidents agreed a high level of trust had been built.

Pahor, who will address the UN General Assembly on Friday, urged efforts for dialogue even if the sides do not always see eye to eye on all issues.

Pahor also met Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado Quesada to discuss global challenges, with Quesada outlining the situation in Latin America, focusing on Nicaragua and Venezuela. He congratulated Pahor on Slovenia’s EU presidency, saying he found the presidency’s main message – together – particularly important at these times.

Addressing challenges of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic were also discussed, with the pair stressing prompt action was needed to make a difference. Quesado invited Pahor for an official visit to Costa Rica, and Pahor reciprocated the invitation.

The Slovenian president also met Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio, Cape Verde President Jorge Carlos Fonseca, Vietnam President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, among others.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar meanwhile held bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Serbia, Switzerland, Nicaragua and Indonesia, the Foreign Ministry said.

With Serbia’s Nikola Selaković, Logar talked about active economic cooperation between Slovenia and Serbia, succession issues and further steps in Serbia’s EU accession process.

A meeting between Logar and Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs Ignazio Cassis focused on the “good bilateral relations that reflect in the fields of business, science and multilateralism”, and the relations between the EU and Switzerland.

In the evening, Logar, Pahor and Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch attended a reception for the Slovenian community, organised by Slovenian Ambassador at the UN Boštjan Malovrh, to mark the 30th anniversary of Slovenia’s independence.

Pahor, recalling his 1991 visit to the US, thanked the representatives of the Slovenian community for everything they had done for the US to recognise Slovenia.