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Prime Minister Janez Janša and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the importance of innovation for the future of the two countries

As part of his two-day official visit to Israel, Prime Minister Janez Janša today met with his host, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In their joint statement to the press, the two prime ministers highlighted the good, friendly relations between the countries since Slovenia gained independence thirty years ago and the importance of innovation for the future competitive advantage of both Slovenia and Israel.

The Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, thanked the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Janez Janša, for his visit and for having always been a great champion of Israeli-Slovenia alliance. In his opinion, this is also evident from the fact that the Slovenian Prime Minister’s first visit outside the EU was to Israel. Mr Netanyahu went on to say that this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. There is still a lot of untapped potential for cooperation between Slovenia and Israel, primarily in the areas of artificial intelligence, cyber security, trade and tourism. Furthermore, the Israeli Prime Minister said that Israel was looking forward to using the Port of Koper as an entry point to the European market for Israeli products. Mr Netanyahu concluded his statement by thanking Mr Janša for having declared Hezbollah a terrorist organisation and for supporting Israel in international fora.

Israel is one of the most innovative countries in the world and therefore an excellent example for Slovenia, said Mr Janša. One of the priorities of the Slovenian EU Council Presidency is cyber security. In the talks, the two prime ministers also discussed key foreign policy issues, such as Syria, Iraq, Iran and the Middle East peace process.

In his statement after the meeting, Mr Janša said: “Slovenia is also among those European countries which try to see the situation in the Middle East as it is, and not as it is shown many times. We are realists. We know the real role of Israel, the importance of Israel for world peace and peace in the region. We are prepared to do whatever we can to strengthen this position.” By way of conclusion, Mr Janša thanked his host for the invitation and great hospitality, adding that he looks forward to future cooperation between Slovenia and Israel.

On the margins of the meeting between the prime ministers, a joint declaration was signed between the Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the Israeli Innovation Authority. The signatories of the declaration were the State Secretary at the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia, Ajda Cuderman, and the Chairman of the Board of the Israeli Innovation Authority, Dr Ami Appelbaum. 

During his visit to Israel, Mr Janša today also met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

The first day of his official visit was dedicated to meeting the representatives of the Israeli innovation sector. Yesterday, Mr Janša talked to the Chairman of the Board of the Israeli Innovation Authority, Dr Ami Appelbaum, and representatives of the leading companies in artificial intelligence and cyber security who presented their work and opportunities for cooperation with Slovenian businesses. Mr Janša referred to the meeting as an opportunity for a breakthrough development in knowledge and entrepreneurship in Slovenia. His talks with the businesspeople were followed by a meeting with the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia to Israel, Eival Gilady, and the representatives of the Israel-Slovenia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dror Dotan and Daniel Yogev.