Slovenian President Dr. Janez Drnovsek, in Israel on his first official and personal visit expressed his own and his country's empathy with the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Slovenia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in June 1991, adopted an immediately effective constitution in December 1991 and established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992. Slovenia identifies in many ways with Israel. In a reference to the rich history of Israel and that of the Jewish people, Drnovsek in separate addresses at a morning reception and a luncheon hosted on Monday by President Moshe Katsav at Beit Hanassi, spoke of the Jewish contribution to humanity in religious and other spheres. "The Jewish people suffered a lot during their history," he said. "We all know how difficult this road was, and in Slovenia we feel deeply for the people of Israel whose achievements we have followed with admiration."