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Press release

Prime Minister at first EU – LAS summit emphasises need for stronger relations between the two regions

The prime minister is attending the second day of the summit in Sharm El Sheikh, which is the first meeting between the leaders of the European Union and the League of Arab States. The EU – LAS summit is an opportunity to exchange opinions, increase trust and search for joint solutions to the addressing of global and regional challenges.

  

The strengthening of the European-Arabic partnership and the joint facing of global challenges were also the main topics of discussion at yesterday’s and today’s panel, which was also addressed by the Slovenian prime minister.

   

In his address, he expressed satisfaction about the progress that has been made in relation to the cooperation that resulted from the first meeting between the European Union and the League of Arab States at the ministerial level, which was held during Slovenia’s presidency of the EU Council in 2008.

  

“I am very pleased to be participating at this historical summit, which is the first one at the highest level and includes the heads of state and government of the European Union and the League of Arab States. The purpose of the summit is the confirmation of the strategic partnership in addressing global and regional issues, the strengthening of cooperation in both business and science, the addressing of security and migration issues and the meeting of the sustainable development targets set out in Agenda 2030.”

  

He added that Europe and the Arab world are linked by a rich history of cultural, economic and political ties. In today’s global, more connected world, we can see that we share the same concerns when it comes to regional development and global issues such as humanitarian crises, illegal migration, the threat of radicalisation, international terrorism and climate change.

   

“I am very happy that the good relations between the European Union Member States and the League of Arab States over the last few years have improved even further, particularly through the promotion of effective multilateral cooperation in our areas of common interest and a regular dialogue on political and security issues.”

  

He also noted that Slovenia cooperates with individual members of the League of Arab States on various humanitarian and development projects. In this respect he emphasised the work of the international humanitarian non-profit organisation ITF, which is involved in enhancing human safety in addressing post-conflict issues and victim rehabilitation.

  

He also mentioned the events in the wider region of the Middle East, where in the prime minister’s opinion a certain amount of progress has been made recently, but despite this relations in the region are still a cause for concern. “Close and sincere cooperation is the only way for us to deal with the situations in Syria, Libya, Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our combined political will can create the conditions for us to take further steps towards the resolution of these long-lasting disputes. It is in the interest of everyone to prevent the deterioration of this already complicated situation. It is important that we maintain our mutual trust, a precondition for which is adherence to the treaties and international law.”

  

The prime minister also referred to the challenges of migration, which similarly underscore the importance of a close Euro-Arabian partnership and cooperation. By enhancing our cooperation we will be able to provide a framework for the humane and sustainable management of migrations, as set out in the Joint Valletta Action Plan.

  

“The social and economic development of both regions must remain one of our main priorities. We are bound by our commitment to meet the targets in all aspects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this connection I should note that the welfare of both of these regions requires an increased commitment to the implementation of the Agenda, while taking into account respect for human dignity, human rights, the rule of law, democracy and the environment, which are crucial to our progress,” the prime minister concluded.

   

The leaders also issued a joint statement at the end of the summit. For more information see: www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-summit/2019/02/24-25/

 

eeas.europa.eu/diplomatic-network/league-arab-states-las_en