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Minister visiting Slovenian communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Sarajevo, 11 March - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch will start a three-day visit to the Slovenian communities in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Friday. She will start her tour in Prijedor in the north-west, continue through central parts of the country and finish in Tuzla in the north-east.

In Prijedor, she will meet members of the Lipa association of Slovenians and a Slovenian teacher. Then she will travel to Slatina, where she will make a stop at the Lunić farm, featuring the traditional Slovenian hayrack, kozolec, to discuss preparations for the ceremony marking 100 years since the arrival of Slovenians to Slatina.

In the evening, she will visit Banjaluka, the capital of Republika Srpska, to meet members of the Slovenian association Triglav.

On Saturday, the minister will visit Kakanj in central Bosnia, where she will hold talks with representatives of Slovenian associations from Kakanj, Zenica and Breza.

In Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jaklitsch will meet a Slovenian lector at the Sarajevo Faculty of Philosophy, a Slovenian teacher and members of the Slovenian association Cankar.

On the last day of her stay, the minister will meet Sarajevo Deputy Mayor Anja Margetić and attend Slovenian mass.

She will wrap up her visit in Tuzla, where she will meet representatives of the Slovenian community there and a Slovenian teacher.

The Government's Office for Slovenians Abroad estimates there are about 5,000 Slovenians living in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Ten Slovenian associations are active in the country. Since 2010, an alliance of Slovenian associations Europe Now has also been active in the country, according to the Slovenian Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Three teachers of Slovenian are teaching Slovenian in Sarajevo, Zenica and Kakanj; Banjaluka, Slatina, Teslić and Prijedor; and in Tuzla.

As part of NATO's mission Joint Enterprise and the EU's Althea, 20 Slovenian soldiers are also stationed in the country.

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