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Minister Fajon at informal meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich) in Toledo

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon attended the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers (Gymnich) in Toledo, where the ministers addressed current foreign and security policy issues. They discussed Russia's aggression on Ukraine and the situation in the Sahel, focusing on Niger after the military coup.

Today at the ministerial table, Spain hosted Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Hassoumi Massaoudou, Foreign Minister of Niger, and Omar Touray, President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Minister Fajon used the informal meeting to gain support for the implementation of the 'Bled Pledge' for the enlargement of the European Union to the Western Balkans by 2030, presented at the 18th Bled Strategic Forum.

The ministers called for continued support and assistance to Ukraine, stressed the importance of accountability for crimes and emphasised cooperation with global partners. They also discussed Ukrainian President Zelensky's peace plan. "I expressed my sincere gratitude to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, for Ukraine's assistance and solidarity after the floods in Slovenia. Slovenia's support for Ukraine remains unwavering, including the restoration of territorial integrity, and investigation and prosecution of those responsible for war crimes and forced deportations of children, as well as mine action and the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure. Slovenia will continue to work for the war in Ukraine to end as soon as possible and will actively participate in any peace formula that will ensure just and lasting peace for the country," said Minister Fajon in the discussion.

The debate on the situation in the Sahel focused on the current developments in Niger, where the coup d'état is continuing. "Slovenia strongly condemns the military coup in Niger and supports a peaceful and diplomatic solution, which will be our guiding principle during our membership of the UN Security Council. I also discussed this yesterday over the phone with Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Attaf. The fates of the EU and West Africa are deeply intertwined. Stability and long-term security in Niger after the military coup are crucial. That is why we support ECOWAS' efforts, including for the immediate release of President Bazoum from prison," said Minister Fajon in the debate. The ministers also stressed the importance of restoring constitutional order and underlined the particular importance of stabilising the situation and preventing the crisis from spreading to other countries in the region.