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Fajon at the EU Foreign Affairs Council: the slaughter in Gaza must end

Minister Tanja Fajon attended the regular meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, where the discussions were again devoted to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the situation in the Middle East. During the debate on the Middle East, the EU foreign ministers were joined by several ministers from the region, with whom they agreed to step up their cooperation in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Addressing the situation in the Middle East, the ministers underscored the alarming and further deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the urgent need to protect civilians and release the hostages. They stressed the importance of continuing efforts to find a political solution between the two countries and the role of the EU in this process, as well as the need to cooperate with the countries of the region. This was confirmed in the following exchanges with foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Secretary General of the League of Arab States. In separate informal meetings, the Ministers were joined by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and the Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki.

EU and regional ministers agreed on the urgency of improving the deplorable humanitarian situation in Gaza and on the need for both European and regional countries to work together towards a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "Once again, I reiterated the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Since the brutal attack of Hamas on 7 October, one in every 100 Palestinians in Gaza has been killed. After more than 100 days of war, the humanitarian situation in Gaza is catastrophic. The humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes is a test of our collective humanity. That is why ensuring unhindered access to humanitarian aid and respect for international humanitarian law are crucial. The slaughter in Gaza must end. Slovenia supports the EU roadmap presented today with gradual steps towards a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In the long term, only a two-state solution can ensure a dignified life for Palestinians and security for Israelis," Fajon said on the sidelines of the meeting, adding that she would take these messages to tomorrow's Security Council ministerial meeting in New York.

In the debate on Ukraine, Minister Fajon stressed: "We need to ensure continued financial support for Ukraine, which will be decided by the European Council. We are determined to achieve a clear objective - peace - and we are using all the tools at our disposal to do so." The Ministers were joined via conference call by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmitry Kuleba, who outlined the current developments and needs of Ukraine. Minister Fajon reaffirmed that Slovenia will continue to assist Ukraine as long as necessary. She also called for the effective implementation of sanctions and an analysis of their impact on the European economy. She drew attention to the issue of accountability for crimes and recalled that the Ljubljana-Hague Convention will soon be available for signature.

At the meeting, ministers condemned the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and assured that the European Union would protect its economic interests. "Our Ministry is in contact with the Port of Koper, which is so far not experiencing any major problems due to the disruption of shipping traffic," the Minister said on the sidelines of the meeting.