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Slovenia Weekly

An appeal for dialogue

31.07.2015

Editorial

Photo: Mostphotos
The Russian Chapel is a very significant monument. It particularly symbolises three fundamental dimensions of our existence. The first is completely ordinary and human: at this site, we strengthen Slovenian-Russian friendship every day, at the same time developing interpersonal ties as individuals. “What counts most in life is the good we do for others," said the Slovenian PM in his speech during a memorial service by the Russian Chapel. He also mentioned the spiritual, social and political dimensions, the latter reminding us that wars and other forms of violence are absurd and contrary to the fundamental values of humanity. The message of the chapel is a message of peace. According to Cerar, peace is something that has to be worked on every day again and again, and that it is a great responsibility of us all.

This year marks the centenary of the opening of the Isonzo Front, where over a million people of different nationalities and religions died. Seven religious leaders also met at the memorial service: the Slovenian Catholic Church, Russian Orthodox Church, Serbian Orthodox Church, Evangelical Church in Slovenia, Greek Catholic Church in Slovenia and Slovenia Jewish Community and Islamic Community in Slovenia. Thereby, the chapel also contributes to interdenominational and intercultural dialogue, which is one of the cornerstones of peaceful co-existence and collaboration between nations in the modern world.

Slovenia also strives for dialogue between the Russian and Ukrainian sides. On Monday’s working visit of the Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev, he and his Slovenian counterpart agreed that the EU sanctions against Russia and Russian counter measures will hurt the economies of both countries, and that ending sanctions is in everyone’s interest. Cerar informed his Russian guest about Slovenia’s positions on Ukraine, including its support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the Minsk agreement.

Slovenia also wants to have good neighbourly relations and peace with its closest neighbours, which requires tolerant and restrained policies on both sides. We want dialogue that enables the region to develop, said the Slovenian PM. The cornerstone of future good neighbourly relations with Croatia and the only way for a just resolution of the border issue is the implementation of the arbitration procedure, said the Slovenian PM in a letter to his Croatian counterpart. He guaranteed that the Slovenian government is promoting impartial and independent arbitration.

At Tuesday's session, the Government appointed Ronny Abraham, the president of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, as Slovenia’s arbitrator. The Slovenian PM Miro Cerar said that the Slovenian government has thus fulfilled its commitments and removed all obstacles, so the court of arbitration can continue its work uninterrupted. The Slovenian PM expressed his expectation that the court would continue to act independently and impartially, fulfil its task and make the final decision. Before that, the European Commission said that while it understood Croatia’s concerns, it fully supports the arbitration procedure. They also stressed the significance of the arbitration agreement for the legal security of both sides, adding that “the arbitration agreement includes mechanisms to address Croatia’s concerns”.

Cerar is definitely right to say that “let us simply be what we are and can be if we only try and cooperate: good people. If we wish for that strongly, regardless of our social roles and positions, we will again find a way to achieve and preserve peace and peaceful co-existence.”

With this appeal, Slovenia Weekly is taking a break from current issues for a while. You will hear from us again on 28 August, when the heated summer has turned into a moderate, and, hopefully, fruitful autumn.

Prime Ministers Cerar and Medvedev hail the Russian Chapel as a symbol of peace

The Russian chapel is a reminder of the tragic events of World War I. In the 99 years of its existence, it has become a symbol of friendship between the Slovenian and Russian nations, said the speakers at today’s memorial event at the chapel below the peak of Vršič. They pointed out that this year marks the centenary of the opening of the Isonzo Front, where over a million people of different nationalities and religions died. more...

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After attending the memorial service at the Russian Chapel on Vršić on Sunday, which focused on a message of peace, the visit of the Russian delegation continued on Monday with a working meeting between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his host, the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar. The PMs confirmed the very good and friendly bilateral relations and focused on proposals for enhancing economic cooperation. They also exchanged views on current international events in the neighbourhood and elsewhere around the world. more...

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Bled Strategic Forum 2015: Visions of New Partnerships

Under the title 'Visions of New Partnerships', the 10th Bled Strategic Forum (BSF), organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Centre for European Perspective, will take place on 31 August and 1 September 2015 in the beautiful setting of charming Bled. In the light of numerous anniversaries we are marking in 2015, this year's forum will discuss the significance of partnerships, and the most important questions of peace and security, business and economic cooperation, development and human rights, which is in line with priorities of the Slovenian foreign policy. more...



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