Politics
Politics

Trumps Invited To Melania's Home Country Of Slovenia

| by David Bonner

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have plans to visit Slovenia, Mrs. Trump's native land.

The news was made official by Slovenian President Borut Pahor's spokesperson, Sepla Vovk, reports CNN.

President Pahor invited the president and first lady to the country for a visit and the Trumps accepted, Vovk announced on July 6. Pahor and the Trumps were in Warsaw at the Three Seas Initiative meeting.

The Trumps are currently in Europe for the G20 summit.

"Slovenian President Borut Pahor invited president Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a visit to Slovenia," Vovk said in an email to CNN. "The Presidents did not set any dates or exact opportunity when the visit would take place."

Mrs. Trump, born "Melanija Knavs," was raised in Sevnica, and lived in the capital of Ljubljana as a student before moving to Rome, eventually ending up in New York via Paris.

The White House website summarizes her career trajectory:

Melania Knavs began her modeling career at the age of sixteen. She would pursue a degree at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, but paused her studies to advance her modeling career in Milan and Paris before moving to New York in 1996.  As a model, Melania has appeared in high profile ad campaigns and worked with some of the top photographers in the fashion industry, including Patrick Demarchelier, Helmut Newton, Arthur Elgort, Ellen Von Unwerth, Peter Arnell, Antoine Verglas and Mario Testino. She has graced the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, British GQ, Ocean Drive, Avenue, In Style, and New York Magazine. Her major layouts include the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Allure, Vogue, Self, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and Elle.

The Slovenian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Bozo Cerar, said Slovenians are "very proud" that Mrs. Trump is first lady, reports CNN. He also said that Americans no longer confuse his country with Slovakia, though he did not specify which Americans.

Proud, enterprising Slovenians are cashing in on the first lady, selling products ranging from honey to salami. A former classmate of hers has come out with a "Melanija" soap, and someone has also written a "Melanija" song.

Tourism has also seen a modest surge, having increased 8 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to the Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office.

The president's pending visit to Slovenia will be his second visit to his wife's homeland. But his first visit was rather brief, as he explained in a 2005 interview with Larry King.

"I was there about 13 minutes," he told the venerable CNN host. "It's a beautiful country. I landed, said, 'Hi, mom, hi, dad; bye.' Boom."

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