Skip to main content

Slovenia and Egypt strengthen cooperation and reaffirm commitment to peace in the Middle East

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon received her Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry for an official visit. The two officials spent a great deal of time discussing the current situation in the world, with a focus on the Middle East. The Slovenian-Egyptian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation examined the possibilities for further strengthening cooperation.

The two ministers exchanged views on the situation in the Middle East and expressed their concern about the catastrophic humanitarian situation and the number of civilian casualties in Gaza. Slovenia condemns the attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure and calls for a ceasefire and full, immediate and unhindered access to humanitarian aid in Gaza: "Slovenia has been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza from the very beginning. We are witnessing a humanitarian disaster. The death toll is staggering. Only a ceasefire will bring peace, and Egypt has a strategic and important role to play in this regard. I thanked Minister Shoukry for being a key partner in the region, including in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas," said Minister Fajon after the talks.

The two ministers also discussed tensions in the Red Sea. "This is one of the world's most important trade routes and efforts must be made to stabilise the situation. We are aware of the potential consequences, as the Port of Koper is one of the most important trade hubs in Slovenia," Minister Fajon said.

During their bilateral meeting, the two officials also touched upon the importance of the Union for the Mediterranean, where Slovenia is strengthening its engagement, including through the Slovenia-based Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI).

The two ministers agreed that the relations between their two countries are excellent, but that there are still many unexplored opportunities for cooperation. Both expressed their interest in further developing political and economic relations and strengthening cooperation in various fields, which was also discussed at the second session of the Slovenian-Egyptian Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation since March 2019. The session was chaired by the two ministers and reviewed bilateral economic cooperation, the business environment in the two countries, and also identified the opportunities to further enhance this cooperation in specific areas. Minister Fajon underlined that the two countries enjoy excellent cooperation in various fields and highlighted the key role of the two embassies in seeking new business opportunities. Their work helps to strengthen contacts between companies and institutions in both countries and to generate new business ideas. "We identified sectors in which to intensify economic cooperation, such as ICT, AI, digitalisation, trade, education, science, tourism, agriculture and sport. Particular attention was devoted to water, where dialogue will continue with a view to signing a memorandum of understanding on water management in the near future," said Minister Fajon.

Egypt is Slovenia's most important economic partner in Africa, and there remains a strong mutual interest in strengthening and upgrading bilateral economic relations. The Slovenian-Egyptian Joint Commission plays a key role in strengthening existing and identifying new business opportunities to enhance economic cooperation.