At NATO meeting, Minister Erjavec underscores close cooperation with partners
Ljubljana, 31 March 2017 – Minister Erjavec participated today in the spring NATO meeting at the level of foreign affairs ministers in Brussels. The ministers covered the state of the Alliance, the projection of stability, the role of NATO in the fight against terrorism, and other pressing challenges to Euro-Atlantic security.
During the discussion, Minister Erjavec insisted on the importance of close cooperation with partners and other international organisations. "Without such cooperation, the effectiveness of NATO's efforts will remain limited. Close cooperation is essential, particularly with those who share our values and goals, first and foremost with the EU," said the Minister, warning that the international community should not forget about the Western Balkans. "There is growing concern that, without credible and realistic Euro-Atlantic prospects, some of the countries will veer off the path of progress that we hoped for," added the Minister. He expressed satisfaction regarding Montenegro’s imminent full membership of NATO, which is set to enhance regional security and send a positive message to other countries in the region.
Minister Erjavec also raised the issue of dialogue with Russia. "In addition to deterring actions, the dialogue with Russia remains instrumental and must be further enhanced in accordance with the key values underpinning the Euro-Atlantic security." In this context, he complimented the renewed NATO-Russia council meeting, which took place yesterday, as an opportunity to clearly state the position of the Alliance and exchange views with the Russion counterparts.
The last part of the NATO foreign ministers meeting involved talks with Ukrainian representatives on the political and security situation in Ukraine and on enhancing cooperation with NATO. Slovenia will continue to support Ukraine's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty, said Minister Erjavec and called on the Ukrainian side to follow through their reform processes.
On the margin of the meeting, Minister Erjavec also met with his Canadian and Montenegrin counterparts, Chrystia Freeland and Srdjan Darmanović, respectively.