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Minister Dr Cerar attends informal EU foreign ministers meeting in Helsinki

Minister Dr Miro Cerar is attending an informal two-day meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich). On the first day, the foreign ministers, together with ministers of defence, discussed hybrid threats, underlining the importance of information exchanges between EU member states. The discussion on the Middle East focused on Iran and the situation in the Strait of Hormuz, with the ministers stressing that the EU must continue its efforts to calm the situation in the region and ensure free navigation through the strait. They also strongly advocated preserving the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA).

Neformalno zasedanje zunanjih ministrov EU v Helsinkih (Gymnich) | Author Svet EU

During dinner, Minister Cerar talked to his new Croatian colleague, Gordan Grlić Radman, with whom he had already held a courtesy meeting in summer. Croatia will take over the Council of the EU presidency from Finland and then hand it over to Germany, which is working closely with Portugal and Slovenia in the trio. The two ministers discussed the priorities of the neighbouring countries during the Council presidency and the challenges facing the EU.

For Slovenia and Croatia, the crucial task is EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. Slovenia remains firm in its position that the enlargement process needs to continue, stated the head of Slovenian diplomacy.

Another point emphasised by Minister Cerar was the obligation of both candidate countries and member states to respect the fundamental principle of the European Union – the rule of law. Cooperation in the European spirit, also between Slovenia and Croatia, entails observance of the European values and agreements that the two countries have reached.

Tomorrow, when the EU foreign ministers are joined by their colleagues from the Western Balkan countries, the discussion will focus on regional cooperation in the Western Balkans.