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Bilateral meeting between Minister Fajon and Dutch Foreign Minister Bruins Slot in The Hague

Minister Tanja Fajon held a bilateral meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Hanke Bruins Slot. Their talks focused on activities aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. They also exchanged views on current European and international issues.
Ministers Fajon and Bruins Slot met in The Hague, handshake

Ministers Fajon and Bruins Slot met in The Hague | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje in evropske zadeve

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The two ministers confirmed the excellent bilateral relations, particularly in the fields of renewable energy, water management and flood protection, and paid particular attention to the situation in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Western Balkans, EU reforms and enlargement, and Slovenia's work in the United Nations Security Council. On the situation in the Middle East, they condemned the attack by the terrorist group Hamas, stressing that terrorism and violence are unacceptable. Minister Fajon highlighted Slovenia's efforts for an immediate ceasefire and respect for international humanitarian law, the protection of civilians and the most vulnerable groups. Both Slovenia and the Netherlands support the search for a lasting political arrangement based on a two-state solution. The ministers also underlined the importance of the peace process.

Regarding the assistance provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to the Palestinian population in Gaza and the wider region, the ministers agreed that the Agency plays a key role in alleviating the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza. "There is simply no alternative to UNRWA. I welcome the intention to investigate, both internally and externally, the possible involvement of some of the Agency's staff in a terrorism act by Hamas; however, the actions of individuals must not be allowed to cause the suffering of the entire Palestinian people," said Minister Fajon.

They also discussed the importance of continued support and assistance to Ukraine and of ensuring that the Russian regime is held accountable for the crimes committed in Ukraine. In this context, Minister Fajon welcomed the more than ten years of cooperation with the Netherlands in the core group of the MLA Initiative, which paved the way for the adoption of the Ljubljana-The Hague Convention at the diplomatic conference in Ljubljana in May 2023 and its signature yesterday by 34 countries. "I would like to see as many countries as possible sign and ratify the Convention, as it is only by putting it into practice that we can turn the often uttered words 'Never Again!' into real action," said Minister Fajon.

She also reaffirmed Slovenia's support for the 'Bled Pledge' on the region's and the EU's readiness for enlargement by 2030, and stressed the importance of further enlargement steps with the Western Balkans. "Slovenia believes that discussions on the EU's internal reforms should take place in parallel with the EU enlargement process." She called on the Netherlands to support the launch of Bosnia and Herzegovina's EU accession negotiations in March and highlighted the positive economic trends and interest in further strengthening trade with the Netherlands, which amounted to 2.6 billion euros in 2022.