ANKARA : Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday hailed the strategic partnership between Türkiye and Slovenia which was established in 2011.
“I believe that our solidarity, which has developed on the basis of friendship, alliance and strategic partnership, will become stronger in every field, including Türkiye’s accession process to the European Union,” Erdogan said at a news conference with his Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor in the capital Ankara.
Erdogan welcomed Pahor at the presidential complex with an official ceremony. During the closed-door meeting, the leaders discussed bilateral relations, Türkiye’s EU membership process, regional and international issues.
“Friendly relations and cooperation between Türkiye and Slovenia make great contributions to regional peace and stability,” Erdogan said.
After the 2016 defeated coup in Türkiye, Slovenia’s president was the first EU head of state to visit Ankara in a show of solidarity, Erdogan added.
During the talks, the Turkish president said the leaders expressed their satisfaction at the development of bilateral cooperation in almost every field, especially in economy, trade, industry, science, technology and transportation.
He added that Ankara and Ljubljana have the potential to increase cooperation in the areas of economy and trade. “As NATO allies, Türkiye and Slovenia have common steps to take, especially in the area of defense.”
Erdogan said bilateral trade volume between Türkiye and Slovenia reached $2.3 billion in 2021, adding: “We aim to increase this figure, which still does not fully reflect our real potential.”
For his part, Pahor said a vast majority of Slovenian people evaluate cooperation with Türkiye “positively”.
Pahor praised Türkiye’s mediation role between Russia and Ukraine to ease tensions in the region.
“If this war lasts longer than expected, tensions may descend south to the Western Balkans,” he added.
Ahead of the joint conference, Türkiye and Slovenia signed a cooperation deal in the area of science and technology.— AA