Pahor doesn't think that Milanovic will change his opinion on arbitration award

NEWS 06.01.2020 20:48
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Source: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Monday that he did not believe that Croatia's president-elect Zoran Milanovic would change his opinion on the arbitration ruling on the two countries' border dispute, however, Pahor, promises to "give chance to dialogue" at the start of their relations as two presidents.

Pahor told reporters in Ljubljana that he had telephoned the newly elected Croatian president to congratulate him on winning the election on Sunday, and also added that he accepted the invitation to attend Milanovic’s inauguration in Zagreb in a few weeks’ time.

While Milanovic served as Croatia’s prime minister in 2015, Zagreb decided to withdraw from the arbitration process due to the behaviour of Slovenia’s representatives that contaminated those proceeding.

However, Pahor said that the relations with Milanovic as soon as he steps into office as the Croatian president should start “with open arms.”

Pahor told the press in Ljubljana that he was glad to hear from Milanovic that one of his priorities would be to improve the bilateral relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Nevertheless, Pahor dooes not believe that Milanovic, whom he knows for 15 years, will change his mind on the arbitration award only because he is now the president.

Pahor also said that Slovenia would be a friend dedicated to dialogue in seeking a solution, however, he reiterated Slovenia’s position on insisting on the implementation of the arbitration award on demarcation of the border between the two countries.

We should seek through dialogue a model for a consensual demarcation in accordance with the arbitration ruling and thus close the last difficult issue stemming from the breakup of the former (federal) state, Pahor said.

Also, the leader of the Slovenian Social Democrats (SD), Dejan Zidan, who is the parliament speaker in Ljubljana, extended his congratulations to Milanovic on the election win.