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Minister Fajon at the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon took part in the two-day Meeting of NATO Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, which coincided with the 74th anniversary of the signing of NATO's founding document in 1949, and she also officially welcomed Finland as NATO's 31st member.

"This meeting is taking place at a crucial moment for the security and future of our community and shows the need for transatlantic ties and for safeguarding common values," said Ms Fajon, welcoming Finland as a new NATO member: "This is an important moment in the history of the Alliance. We are waiting for Sweden to join NATO and for the last two Member States to give the green light as soon as possible. This should happen by the NATO Summit in Vilnius at the latest."

Later on, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kuleba joined the NATO-Ukraine Commission to discuss with the ministers further political and practical support for his country. "It is crucial that we as Allies stand united in our support for Ukraine. Slovenia has so far provided generous assistance and support in all forms, including the humanitarian and material aid worth 29.4 million euros," said Minister Fajon, adding that Slovenia will continue providing assistance as long as needed. "Slovenia's experience could be used most effectively in the fields of demining, psychosocial assistance to children and rehabilitation," the Minister added.

The ministers also touched on the challenges in the Global South and support to partners there in building up their security mechanisms. "Slovenia proposed that the Global South be included in the discussions. At the same time, we should not forget our partners in our immediate vicinity. We must keep the focus on the Western Balkans. I hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova will also participate with the EU at the Vilnius Summit," said the Minister.

Owing to the presence of Asia-Pacific partners, the meeting was also an opportunity to strengthen dialogue with this important region. "Views were exchanged with Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan on the challenges in the region and on further cooperation, especially on cybersecurity, new technologies and the fight against disinformation. China is rapidly becoming our strategic rival, but also an important partner in tackling major global challenges such as climate change and food security," the Minister added.

On preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius in July 2023, Minister Fajon highlighted the importance of strengthening the Women, Peace and Security agenda. She also presented the diplomatic conference for the adoption of the Convention on International Cooperation in the Prosecution of the Crime of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes and Other International Crimes, which will take place in Ljubljana in May 2023.