Prime Minister meets with members of 40th Slovenian contingent in Peć
On the second day of his visit to Kosovo, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec met with members of the 40th Slovenian contingent in Peć. After an official reception with military honours, the prime minister met with commander of the multinational battlegroup Regional Command West (RC West) Daniele Pisani. The majority of the Slovenian contingent is present and established on missions in this area of KFOR’s operations.
In his welcoming address to the members of the 40th Slovenian contingent, the prime minister first stated that he hears nothing but praise for the members of the Slovenian armed forces, and their bravery, allegiance and commitment to the mission.
He continued: “The Slovenian armed forces contributes six percent of its soldiers to missions and operations. We are here at the very top. Missions are extremely important to maintaining stability and peace, and for the Slovenian armed forces to show itself as a respectable military force. Our shared task is to ensure that the Slovenian armed forces continues to carry out its mission as it has to date, and that it will be respected and appreciated not just abroad but also at home.”
He noted that we have managed to halt the trend of falling spending, as increased spending has been earmarked and this will continue in the future. An army cannot operate, or even exist, without funding. “But money is not everything, a lot of it is in your soul and your heart. And you are up to the task! Your commitment, your qualifications and your readiness to serve your homeland far from home shows the exceptional connection between you, your homeland and the entire Slovenian nation”, said the prime minister, who continued: “When we established our own state, we decided we were going to have an army, and we must remain loyal to that mission. We do not allocate funds solely because of NATO, but because of ourselves and our own security. An army isn’t built overnight; armies are built for the long haul, and an awareness of security, of collective security, an awareness of peace and its preservation is built gradually, every day, over many years.”
At the end of his address, the prime minister wished the members of the Slovenian contingent a peaceful holiday season knowing that their work is important and appreciated: “Without your work, our entire country would not be as highly valued as it is”, he concluded.
Afterwards, the prime minister visited members of the Slovenian armed forces who guard the Dećani Monastery. At the monastery he was informed about the specific guard duties and operating methods of the Slovenian soldiers. One of their key duties in this area is the promotion of good relations between the people living and working at the monastery and the local population.
At the end of his visit, Prime Minister Šarec concluded that the security system is our priority, as without security there is no basis for everything else, and we unquestionably have to work on this. Our soldiers make a significant contribution to preserving peace and stability through missions in regions outside of our borders.
During his visit, the prime minister also honoured the memory of a Slovenian soldier who lost her life in Kosovo.