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Minister Fajon at the EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting and the European Humanitarian Forum in Brussels

Minister Tanja Fajon took part in a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels to discuss the alarming situation in the Middle East, Russian aggression against Ukraine and the deteriorating human rights situation in Belarus. She also participated in the third edition of the European Humanitarian Forum, where she presented Slovenia's humanitarian response to the growing number of crises around the world.

The ministers began by exchanging views via video link with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, in particular on the situation in the Middle East. "We must work together to find a solution that will bring peace, under the auspices of the United Nations. It is vital that land corridors are opened as soon as possible for the delivery of additional humanitarian aid. In the longer term, we must join forces to support the credible implementation of a two-state solution," said Minister Fajon in her discussion with Secretary of State Blinken.

The discussion on the Middle East focused on the failed ceasefire talks before the start of Ramadan and the way forward. "I reiterated my call for an immediate ceasefire and stressed that a ground offensive in Gaza is unacceptable. I supported the Irish-Spanish proposal to review the implementation of the EU-Israel Association Agreement," Minister Fajon said on the sidelines of the meeting. Separately, she met with the foreign ministers of France, Belgium and Malta to discuss the drafting of a UN Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, humanitarian aid for civilians, a deal for the release of hostages and concrete steps towards the recognition of Palestine. "My Spanish colleague and I also agreed on the envisaged timetable leading to a two-state solution. Time is running out for a peace conference," she added.

In the debate on the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the Minister stressed that the Ukrainian peace formula needs the support of the Global South. "Slovenia is in favour of continued support for Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war, we have provided EUR 12 million in humanitarian and material aid, focusing on demining, rehabilitation of war victims, psychosocial support for children and health care. We also support the proposal to use part of the income from managing frozen Russian assets to finance military purchases for Ukraine," said the Minister.

Ministers discussed Belarus in the context of increasing repression and a deteriorating human rights situation. On behalf of Slovenia, Minister Fajon supported cooperation with the Belarusian people and civil society and called for continued support for pro-European democratic forces and free media.

Prior to the foreign ministers' meeting, Minister Fajon participated in the European Humanitarian Forum, where she stressed that "Slovenia has significantly increased its humanitarian aid in recent years. We have substantially increased our contributions to meet the humanitarian needs in Gaza and to ensure food security. Last month, Slovenia also approved additional financial support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). We will continue to strive – as much as we can – to be among the countries that set an example of international solidarity. We have joined the call for scaling up humanitarian aid to children, especially Palestinian children. A child is killed every ten minutes in Gaza. This must stop!" the Minister said in her address.