Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec is on an official visit to the Vatican today. This morning he had a private audience with Pope Francis. He also had a meeting with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
Prime Minister Šarec and His Holiness Pope Francis emphasised the friendly relations that exist between Slovenia and the Holy See.
“We value the dialogue on bilateral relations that has been established and hope to continue it,” was one of the Prime Minister’s key messages on the occasion of this visit.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to remind Pope Francis that he has an open invitation to visit Slovenia.
Open and sincere dialogue
Their conversation focused chiefly on the current crises and challenges facing the international community. Slovenia and the Holy See share similar views on numerous important global issues, which they are also actively addressing in the context of multilateral forums.
Following the meeting, the Prime Minister described his conversation with the Pope as very open and sincere.
“We touched on an extremely wide range of problems and subjects. I consider our talk to have been very productive. I repeated the invitation to His Holiness to visit Slovenia. I believe that through further cooperation in a constructive spirit we can contribute a great deal to solving problems.”
Concern for the Western Balkans
Considerable attention was also devoted to conditions in the Western Balkans, where the Prime Minister repeated that Slovenia strongly supports the stability and progress of the region, since both are in the strategic interest of Europe as a whole.
“We are both working towards the same goal, that is to say, to ensure that talks or negotiations on EU enlargement into the Western Balkans begin as soon as possible. If the EU is not active in this area, difficulties may arise.”
The Prime Minister also discussed bilateral relations between Slovenia and the Holy See and current international topics with Cardinal State Secretary Pietro Parolin.
Later on the Prime Minister will give an address at the opening of an exhibition of Plečnik’s chalices and other liturgical objects in the Vatican Museums.
(Government of the Republic of Slovenia)