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Minister Fajon in Abu Dhabi with His Highness Sheikh Zayed on the need to strengthen the Palestinian Authority

On the third day of her visit to the Middle East and the Gulf, Minister Tanja Fajon met with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The main topics of discussion were the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and developments in the Middle East. At the request of Sheikh Zayed, Minister Fajon gave an assessment of the situation in the Western Balkans. She also visited the Abrahamic Family House.

The two Ministers discussed the conflict between Israel and Hamas, its impact on the countries of the wider Middle East and the Gulf, and the prospects for a political solution to the conflict. Minister Fajon stressed that addressing the Palestinian issue was key to reducing tensions in the region, adding that the role of Arab countries in negotiating a ceasefire and and striving for a two-state solution was crucial. The two ministers also agreed on the need for further steps to protect the Palestinians, including the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. “Sheikh Zayed expressed his appreciation for Slovenia's stance on the conflict in Gaza, but we agreed on the need to reform the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah in order to build confidence,” said Minister Fajon after the meeting.

The United Arab Emirates is is one of the largest donors of humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, willing to do all they can to ensure that the aid reaches the people, despite the many obstacles. The two ministers discussed how to better plan the delivery of aid and ensure its urgent transport to Gaza.

They also talked about the Western Balkans and EU enlargement plans. “In the current circumstances and the changed geostrategic situation, EU enlargement is a must. Slovenia will continue to support the introduction of reforms in the region that will put the Western Balkan countries on the road to EU membership. We would like to see the political decisions on the next steps for these countries to be taken as soon as possible.”

Minister Fajon also expressed her wish that the Emirates would open an embassy in Slovenia and that high-level visits would begin later this year. Minister Zayed expressed a keen interest in investing in Slovenia, especially in the field of artificial intelligence and technology.

In Abu Dhabi, Minister Fajon also visited the Abrahamic Family House, a symbol of interfaith harmony, dialogue and cooperation that promotes understanding and unity among people of different religions. This architectural compound encompasses the places of worship of the three major monotheistic religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism – a mosque, a church and a synagogue. “In these turbulent times, it is good to see the promotion of religious tolerance, dialogue, peaceful coexistence and understanding between people of different religions,” said Minister Fajon during the tour. The idea of the Abrahamic Family House was born out of the UAE's commitment to the promotion of religious tolerance, dialogue and peaceful co-existence.