Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon hosted the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Portuguese Republic, Dr João Gomes Cravinho, for an official visit.
The two counterparts advocated the strengthening of bilateral cooperation between their respective countries, underlining the need for enhanced partnership between the European Union and the Mediterranean countries.
“Slovenia and Portugal certainly have a lot in common. We have developed excellent and friendly relations that have been even further deepened today, I am sure”, said Minister Fajon, adding that the two countries are united by their commitment to promoting the fundamental values at the very core of the Union, such as the rule of law, democracy and respect for human rights. She recalled that with the entry into force of the amendments to the Slovenian Family Code, “today, our country has joined Portugal and other most progressive members of the European Union”.
They acknowledged mutual economic interests and the potential for further investment, particularly in the field of renewables. “To me, Portugal is a role model in many respects, especially as regards its ambitious transition to renewable energies”, said the Minister, welcoming the forthcoming signing of a cooperation agreement between the respective national agencies for the promotion of entrepreneurship, SPIRIT and AICEP. “Portugal is Slovenia’s 35th foreign trade partner. There still remain many untapped opportunities and both sides are keen to encourage mutual investment”. Of particular interest to Slovenia is logistical cooperation with the Portuguese Port of Sines and the Lisbon airport as the entry points to the African continent and Latin America, respectively.
“Multilateralism is the best guarantee for conflict prevention and peacekeeping”, declared Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho, stressing that Slovenia’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council can make a significant contribution to world peace through its programme. The two ministers also called for the strengthening of cooperation in the framework of the EUMED9 group and the Union for the Mediterranean.
In the afternoon, Minister Fajon and Minister Cravinho will take part in a panel discussion on “Science and Diplomacy for Sustainable Development in the Mediterranean”, which will take place at the Euro-Mediterranean University EMUNI in Piran. The discussion will be aimed at exchanging views on security and sustainable development in the Mediterranean and on the role diplomacy, science and education can play in addressing the pressing challenges currently facing the Mediterranean region.