03:32 - Source: CNN
Melania Trump: From Slovenia to the White House

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First lady Melania Trump was born in Slovenia

The Trumps have accepted an invitation to travel to her native country

CNN —  

President Donald Trump and Melania Trump will make a future visit to the first lady’s native Slovenia.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor invited the President and first lady to the country for a visit and the Trumps accepted, Pahor’s spokesperson Sepla Vovk told CNN.

The group met Thursday in Warsaw at the Three Seas Initiative meeting.

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

Melania Trump was born “Melanija Knavs” in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, and raised in Sevnica, a lush, green town with rolling hills, castles and orchards at the intersection of the country’s Sava and Mirna Rivers. She lived in the capital of Ljubljana as a student before moving to Rome, then Paris, and ultimately, New York.

This picture provided by courtesy of Nena Bedek and taken in 1977 in Radenci, northeastern Slovenia, shows Slovenian-American former model and Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump (born Melanija Knavs)(2nd R) as a child, together with Nena Bedek (R), attending a fashion review of Jutranjka, the textile company where her mother used to work.

Slovenia is a small central European country the size of New Jersey, bordering Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, with about 30 miles of coastline on the Adriatic Sea.

“I was born in Slovenia, a small, beautiful and then-communist country in Central Europe,” Melania Trump said in her remarks at the Republican National Convention last summer. “I am fortunate for my heritage, but also for where it brought me today.”

Slovenians are “very proud” that Trump is first lady, Slovenian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Božo Cerar told CNN recently. She has helped the nation’s visibility considerably, he said, noting that Americans no longer mix his country up with Slovakia, a “huge improvement.”

And, perhaps as a result of new found curiosity and intrigue around the mysterious and private first lady, tourism in her native country is on the rise.

In January 2017, tourism in Slovenia was up 8% compared to January 2016, according to the Republic of Slovenia Statistical Office.

A selection of Melania Trump-inspired goods have sprung up across the country in recent months, including jars of honey bearing the first lady’s image, a “First Lady” brand of salami, wine, and tea, a “Melania Cake” at a local Sevnica bakery, a “Melanija” song, and “Melanija” soap, made by a former classmate of Trump.

Shortly after their January 2005 wedding, the newlywed Trumps sat down with CNN’s Larry King, who asked Trump whether he’d been to Slovenia.

Trump said his first – and only – trip to the European country was short-lived.

“I was there about 13 minutes. It’s a beautiful country. I landed, said, ‘Hi, mom, hi, dad; bye.’ Boom,” he said, gesturing out behind him.

It’s unclear whether Melania has returned with their son, Barron, 11.

The Trumps are currently traveling in Europe for the Group of 20 summit, their second trip abroad as the first couple. A date has not yet been set for their return to Slovenia.