Pahor was attending an event marking the 30th anniversary of the Union of Slovenian Associations in Croatia.
Croatian President Zoran Milanović, too, was to have attended the event, however, he had to cancel his attendance due to other obligations in Zagreb.
“Croatian President and my friend Zoran Milanović phoned me personally yesterday to explain the reasons why he would not be able to attend, and he asked me to convey his greetings and congratulations,” Pahor said.
“Slovenia and Croatia are now excellent partners with good neighbourly relations, which were not always that good due to outstanding issues arising from the break-up of the former joint state,” Pahor said, adding that those issues could be resolved with mutual understanding and respect.
We can contribute together to strengthening the EU and its values, Pahor said, adding that he expected Croatia to join the Schengen and euro areas soon.
Speaking about the Slovenian ethnic minority in Croatia, he said that its value was its cooperation with the local community and with the majority and other peoples.
He told its representatives to do their best to preserve their identity.
“We Slovenians will do our best for Croats to feel at home in our country and to preserve their identity,” he said.
The head of the Union of Slovenian Associations in Croatia, Barbara Riman, said that its many members work on preserving the identity, language, culture and history of Slovenians in Croatia as well as on maintaining ties with the parent country.
Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County head Zlatko Komadina underlined the importance of connections between that part of Croatia and Slovenia, as well as between the two nations.
Filipović said he hoped that with Croatia’s entry to the Schengen area of passport-free movement the wire fence on the Slovenia-Croatia border would finally be removed.
Pahor and other participants in the event today also attended an exhibition on the Slovenian community in Croatia.