Slovenian President Borut Pahor has called Turkey its Muslim ally.

Addressing his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his accompanying delegation at the Turkey-Slovenia Business Forum in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, Pahor said: “Turkey is a Muslim ally for us.”

He said Turkey and Slovenia, both NATO members, were in a strategic partnership. He also reiterated Slovenia’s support for Turkey' EU accession bid.

"Turkey, Japan, and the United States are of first priority for the Slovenian government," he said.

Despite cultural and religious differences, both nations understood each other, Pahor said, adding that a safe future was possible through bilateral cooperation.

- 'Slovenia is Turkey’s neighbor'

Erdogan, who attended the forum following a joint press conference, said a stronger future for both countries was possible by improving relations in politics, economy, military, trade, and culture. 

Referring to the historic bonds between Turkey and the Balkans, he said that Slovenia was a neighboring country for Turkey despite having no territorial boundaries with it. "Establishing a joint future will benefit us both," he added.

He highlighted Turkey’s economic growth throughout the last 12 years that witnessed many key infrastructure investments.

With a number of ongoing projects, Turkey aims to be among the top 10 economies of the world by 2023, the year when the centennial anniversary of the Republic takes place.

Erdogan called on Turkish and Slovenian business community members to invest more in both countries.

"Relations and meetings between Turkish and Slovenian business people today will take the friendship and cooperation between the two countries a step further," he said.

The president also mentioned Turkey's 2015 G20 presidency. "For the first time ever in G-20 history, there will be a meeting of energy ministers, during which access to energy, especially in Africa, will be discussed," he announced.

Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci and his Slovenian counterpart Zdravko Pocivalsek were also present at the forum.

Zeybekci called on Turkish business community to invest and "be courageous in Slovenia." The trade volume between the two countries is currently at $1.05 billion. Currently, 34 Slovenian companies in Turkey make an investment of $4 million, while the total investment of 10 Turkish companies in Slovenia is around $5 million, the minister added.

Pocivalsek also voiced his desire to see more Turkish investment in his country and assured Turkish investors that Slovenia was ready to offer anything they needed, he added.

Anadolu Agency