Minister Fajon in Pristina to enhance bilateral relations and resume dialogue
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On her first official visit to Pristina, Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon met Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora of the Republic of Kosovo Donika Gërvalla-Schwarz. The meeting was aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, with a focus on economic cooperation, the situation in the country and discussion on Kosovo's European perspective.
"Slovenia and Kosovo are friendly countries with traditionally positive relations. I can assure you that Slovenia will continue to offer all the necessary assistance and support to Kosovo in its Euro-Atlantic integration," the Minister said in her talks with Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz. She was also pleased to note Kosovo's EU membership application, which was submitted in December 2022, and called on Kosovo to continue its reforms with commitment, especially on the rule of law, ensuring a safe business environment and respect for fundamental rights. She also called on Kosovo to normalise relations with Serbia in order to avoid further escalation of the conflict.
"Both Slovenia and the EU as a whole are closely monitoring the security situation in Kosovo and the region. People want to live in peace, prosperity, understanding and, above all, security. That is why we need a strong Western Balkans and a strong Kosovo that is moving forward on the European path," said Minister Fajon. She added that the EU-led Belgrade-Pristina dialogue must resume in 2023 and that the two governments must start talks on a new, comprehensive agreement that both sides respect. "Slovenia will also strengthen its presence in Kosovo as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR) and the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) to ensure stability and security," the Minister said.
Minister Fajon went on to commend the implementation of the final phase of the visa liberalisation process, which is one of the essential goals of Kosovo and its citizens. "Slovenia will continue to do its best, within the framework of regional initiatives, to support Kosovo's further progress and integration into regional and international structures," she said, stressing the importance of implementing and respecting the already concluded regional agreements.
Discussing bilateral cooperation with Foreign Minister Gërvalla-Schwarz, Minister Fajon was satisfied with the growth in trade between the two countries. In 2021, it reached almost EUR 180 million, with around 250 Slovenian companies providing 5,000 jobs in Kosovo. The opportunities to strengthen cooperation lie especially in green energy, water management, waste management and digitalisation.
Minister Fajon was later received by President of the Republic of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, Speaker of the Assembly of Kosovo Glauk Konjufca, and Prime Minister Albin Kurti for courtesy calls. The Minister congratulated her hosts on the 15th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Kosovo, which will be celebrated on 17 February, and expressed her wish for continued friendly relations between the two countries.